Rising furniture sales in May completed 12 months of consecutive volume and value growth for the category, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Its official figures put seasonally adjusted volume growth at 19.6 per cent in May, with the total spent (value) on furniture up by 18.4 per cent.

The ONS downgraded the three previous months — but only fractionally — with May’s result the strongest recorded since last August. May 2014 was the last time ONS recorded negative year-on-year furniture sales.

Across all retail sectors, volumes were up 4.6 per cent, with lower prices dragging that figure down to +1.8 per cent by value.

Only booze and tobacco — buoyed by alcohol promotions according to ONS — fared better than the furniture category on a year-on-year basis.