High Street shoppers run for cover in heavy rains

Rain on high street Image copyright Press Association
Image caption The wet weather meant High Street shopper numbers were down on last year

Wet weather over the bank holiday weekend drove shoppers indoors, with many opting for covered shopping centres instead of the High Street, figures suggest.

The number of people visiting shopping centres surged by 6.2% compared with last year, while footfall on the High Street slipped 0.1%, according to retail analyst Springboard.

Retail parks were the most popular destination, with visitors up 8.5%.

Overall, footfall was up on last year.

Springboard Insights director Diane Wehrle credited strong consumer confidence for the rise.

"Consumers are feeling much more confident about their job prospects and wage increases, so they are willing to go out and spend," she told the BBC.

'Strong expectations'

Separately, business lobby group the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said its monthly survey showed economic growth had continued to pick up pace in the three months to August.

It also said there were "strong expectations" for the next three months.

The CBI's monthly survey includes 754 private firms from a range of sectors.

The lobby group's monthly private sector growth indicator showed an overall reading of 31% for the three months to August, just below the 2015 high recorded in May.

The percentage reading indicates the number of firms reporting that business performance was up, compared with those reporting it was down.

"The weather may have been a washout this month, but the sun has certainly been shining on the British economy," said CBI director of economics Rain Newton-Smith.

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