New figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) indicate that the nation's retailers enjoyed a reasonably strong performance in June, largely on the back of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.
This is consistent with the findings of BDO's High Street Sales Tracker for June, which indicated that promotions and summer discounts also helped to stimulate demand.
Director-general of the BRC Stephen Robertson underlined the fact that the celebrations were followed by much weaker business throughout the rest of the month.
He acknowledged that a trip to the shops played a big part in people's Jubilee festivities, but noted that the first half of the year as a whole shows no improvement on 2011.
"It's clear a permanent upturn in confidence and spending has yet to happen," the expert commented.
"Scrapping next month's fuel duty rise will help hard-pressed customers and businesses," Mr Robertson continued, calling on the government to be more supportive in terms of cost controls.