RETAILERS saw strong sales growth in the year to October after cooling temperatures prompted delayed purchases of winter clothes.
Figures released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) yesterday show 48 per cent of retailers reported a rise in sales volumes in the year to October compared to 17 per cent who said they fell.
The figures bode well for the UK’s economic recovery as it shows strengthening consumer spending.
Growth varied substantially across sectors – 86 per cent of clothing retailers said sales volumes had increased, 72 per cent for furniture and carpets, compared to 33 per cent of Grocers, minus 33 per cent for hardware and DIY and – 55 per cent for chemists.
“Sales on our high streets are still ticking along and, with similar prospects next month, retail growth is looking more stable,” said Rain Newton-Smith, economist at the CBI.
“The clothing sector in particular appears to be bouncing back after the mild weather in September deterred people from buying their winter warmers.”
The rebound in fashion sales is good news for retailers after data from the Office for National Statistics showed a sharp fall in sales in September due to warm weather lasting longer than expected.