British retail sales rose in July compared to the same month last year, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Its monthly distributive trades survey found that 18% of retailers said sales were lower than a year ago, while 51% said they rose, for a balance of +33 percentage points. That compares with a balance of -5 in June and was the highest reading since April 2007, the CBI said. The business group said annual summer discounts, the World Cup and warm weather boosted sales. Richard Lowe, head of retail & holesale at Barclays Corporate, said: “July proved a very strong month for retailers, surpassing expectations, as the World Cup coupled with the warm weather saw consumers spending freely on food and clothing. “However, the trading environment is becoming increasingly challenging with inflation in the Far East and rising commodity prices bearing down on the sector”.