The UK’s shop vacancy rate continued to improve in May, dropping to its lowest level in four years, according to the Local Data Company.

Monthly vacancy rates fell by 0.1% to 13.4%, and significantly below the 14.1% recorded a year ago. Within town centres this equates to over 200 new businesses a month.

Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company, said: “The improving vacancy rate continues to show that empty shops are being reoccupied up and down the country.

“The improving vacancy rate reflects a more positive economic outlook for consumers in terms of price deflation, wage increases and continued interest rates at an all-time low.”

But he warned that these factors were “highly volatile”, so it would be wrong to call the market on vacancy rates. “Much can change in a very short space of time as history shows.”

The Local Data Company visits over 2,700 towns and cities, retail parks and shopping centres.