Five questions answered on the "retail revival"

Surprisingly, online sales have actually slowed.

New data released from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard has shown a rise in footfall at the country’s shopping locations. We answer five questions on this good news for the economy.

How much has footfall at shopping locations increased?

According to the data released last week, footfall at the country’s shopping hotspots is up 0.8 per cent in July, compared to year earlier. This is acceleration on the 0.1pc increase in June.

The increase in retail footfall was driven by sharp growth in London, the west Midlands, Northern Ireland, and Wales, with other parts of the country in decline.

Did the figures reveal any further other good news for the economy?

Yes. The amount of empty shops in country has also fallen from a record 11.9 per cent in April to 11.1 per cent in July.

What about online sales?

Surprisingly, online sales have actually slowed. They fell by 2 per cent in July compared to June, according to the IMRG Capgemini sales index.

However, year-on-year sales rose 9pc, but this is still the slowest growth since January 2010.

What have the experts said?

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has increased its forecast growth for 2014, from 2 per cent to 2.3 per cent.

John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, speaking to The Telegraph said: "The economy has started to gain momentum and confidence is picking up, but it’s still early days.

"We need to see a full-blown rebalancing of our economy, with stronger business investment and trade before we can call a sustainable recovery. We hope that will begin to emerge next year, as the eurozone starts growing again."

Is there any indication what the Office for National Statistics second quarter growth statistics, due later in the week, might reveal?

Investors are positive this week and think the UK economy could be boosted further after they are released.

Some economists even expect the Office for National Statistics to upgrade its estimate of Q2 growth from 0.6 per cent to 0.7 per cent.

New data released from the British Retail Consortium. Photograph: Getty Images

Heidi Vella is a features writer for Nridigital.com

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I believe only Yvette Cooper has the breadth of support to beat Jeremy Corbyn

All the recent polling suggests Andy Burnham is losing more votes than anyone else to Jeremy Corbyn, says Diana Johnson MP.

Tom Blenkinsop MP on the New Statesman website today says he is giving his second preference to Andy Burnham as he thinks that Andy has the best chance of beating Jeremy.

This is on the basis that if Yvette goes out first all her second preferences will swing behind Andy, whereas if Andy goes out first then his second preferences, due to the broad alliance he has created behind his campaign, will all or largely switch to the other male candidate, Jeremy.

Let's take a deep breath and try and think through what will be the effect of preferential voting in the Labour leadership.

First of all, it is very difficult to know how second preferences will switch. From my telephone canvassing there is some rather interesting voting going on, but I don't accept that Tom’s analysis is correct. I have certainly picked up growing support for Yvette in recent weeks.

In fact you can argue the reverse of Tom’s analysis is true – Andy has moved further away from the centre and, as a result, his pitch to those like Tom who are supporting Liz first is now narrower. As a result, Yvette is more likely to pick up those second preferences.

Stats from the Yvette For Labour team show Yvette picking up the majority of second preferences from all candidates – from the Progress wing supporting Liz to the softer left fans of Jeremy – and Andy's supporters too. Their figures show many undecideds opting for Yvette as their first preference, as well as others choosing to switch their first preference to Yvette from one of the other candidates. It's for this reason I still believe only Yvette has the breadth of support to beat Jeremy and then to go on to win in 2020.

It's interesting that Andy has not been willing to make it clear that second preferences should go to Yvette or Liz. Yvette has been very clear that she would encourage second preferences to be for Andy or Liz.

Having watched Andy on Sky's Murnaghan show this morning, he categorically states that Labour will not get beyond first base with the electorate at a general election if we are not economically credible and that fundamentally Jeremy's economic plans do not add up. So, I am unsure why Andy is so unwilling to be clear on second preferences.

All the recent polling suggests Andy is losing more votes than anyone else to Jeremy. He trails fourth in London – where a huge proportion of our electorate is based.

So I would urge Tom to reflect more widely on who is best placed to provide the strongest opposition to the Tories, appeal to the widest group of voters and reach out to the communities we need to win back. I believe that this has to be Yvette.

The Newsnight focus group a few days ago showed that Yvette is best placed to win back those former Labour voters we will need in 2020.

Labour will pay a massive price if we ignore this.

Diana Johnson is the Labour MP for Hull North.