High street sales remained flat between August and September, with a good performance in food outweighed by non-food retailers continuing to struggle.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the value of retail sales rose 1.8% in September compared with the same month a year ago. This was driven by a 4.5% rise in the value of food sales, but non-food sales slid 1.6%.

The CBI’s monthly survey found 41% of retailers said sales volumes had risen in the year to October, while 33% said they were down. The resulting positive balance of 8% was the best since December 2007.