Retail sales in slim rise

Retail sales volumes rose slightly faster than expected in October after two months of declines, with strength across most sectors, official data showed.

Separate figures showed government borrowing came in at £9.7bn last month, broadly in line with expectations.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said sales volumes rose 0.5 per cent last month after a downwardly revised fall of 0.5 per cent in September. Analysts had forecast a rise of 0.4 per cent on the month.

That gave an annual reading of -0.1 per cent, the first fall since January but in line with expectations.

Excluding fuel, retail sales rose 0.3 per cent on the month and were up 1.2 per cent on the year.