Fewer than one in every ten retailers saw sales decline in early May trading, according to business group the CBI.

Its monthly Distributive Trades Survey — which asks retailers if sales were up, down or flat — recorded a balance of +51 per cent of retailers in positive year-on-year territory.

60 per cent were up, just 9 per down, with the remainder flat against the same trading period in 2014, CBI claimed.

134 firms participated in the latest survey, which took place from 30th April to 15th May. These include many of the UK’s largest retailers, with CBI saying respondents represent a third of total retail employment in Britain.