Signs of improving trade on Britain's high streets are unsustainable and a lasting recovery may not emerge until 2011, the ratings agency Fitch said yesterday.

It poured cold water on positive trading figures from the likes of fashion chain Next, as well as a better-than-expected 1.2% increase in overall retail sales volumes between May and June. Fitch said the revival was only temporary because trade received an artificial boost from a late Easter, pleasant weather and the fact that many stores began summer sales early.

The Independent