UK retail sales bounced back in September after the miserable weather in August brought summer to an abrupt end.
Figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG this morning show that like-for-like UK retail sales were up 2.6 per cent in September compared with the same month last year, when they had decreased 2.1 per cent.
Total sales jumped by 3.9 per cent, against a 0.8 per cent fall in last year. This was the fastest growth since January 2014, when excluding the impact of Easter.
Food sales grew by 0.2 per cent over the three months to September, fuelled in part by the Rugby World Cup, while non-food sales were up 3.7 per cent – ahead of their 12-month average of 3.3 per cent.
The BRC said the growth was boosted by the August bank holiday falling into the September period as opposed to August last year. The data was also flattered by a weak comparable period last year, when the mild autumn weather made it difficult for retailers to shift coats and jumpers.
KPMG’s head of retail, David McCorquodale, said: “With the summer bank holiday falling into September, top line trends for the month were inevitably inflated with total sales up 3.9 per cent compared to 2014.”
“However, taking the 3 months July to September, total sales across all categories also showed a bounce back, up 2.2 per cent in the period suggesting a stronger finish to the British summer overall,” he added.
Furniture was the top performing category, with the highest sales seen since April of 2014 followed by footwear, which had its best performance since March of last year.
Clothing retailers also enjoyed strong growth thanks to last minute back-to-school purchases lifting sales of children’s clothes and shoes.
BRC and KMPG’s figures comes after data from accountancy firm BDO and Confederation of British Industry both reported forecast beating sales in September, with low inflation and the recovery in wage growth helping to boost demand.