The survey of 60 retailers saw year-on-year high street sales this month grow at a stronger pace than expected, after a flat first half of 2013 - the first rise since February.
But overall sales volumes remained below average for the time of year and sales growth is expected to ease back slightly in August.
The detailed findings show the strongest growth in clothing since February; a further rise in footwear sales; and department store sales showed their strongest growth since 1983.
Other sub-sectors – including furniture & carpets and specialist food & drink – saw falling sales volumes, while grocery sales growth remained modest.
Stephen Gifford, CBI Director of Economics, said:
“The feel-good factor from the heat wave and early summer sales has helped boost high street sales, after a very weak start to the year.
“A return to even modest spending is welcome news but the bottom line is that confidence will not bounce back fully until family finances improve significantly.
“A positive knock-on effect on retail sales from the royal baby has been mooted, but much more realistically, continued good weather and discounts will play a greater role in retail growth over the next month.”
The survey, which is 30 years-old this month, was conducted between 26th June and 16th July 2013.
37% of wholesalers reported sales volumes to be up on last year and 13% said they were down, giving a rounded balance of +25% - a slower pace than in June (+45%) but well above expectations (+5%) and driven in part by the fastest rise in food & drink sales since September 2011. However, wholesalers expect sales growth to ease back next month (+15%).
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