Retail sales volumes rose 1.8% in October against last year, while sales values increased 2.5%.
But data from the Office for National Statistics shows volumes and values both fell 0.7% from September.
Across the month consumers spent £27.8bn, which compares to £27.1bn in October in 2012. On average consumers spent £6.9bn per week in October.
Growth came from non-food retailers as volumes increased 2.7% and online retailers’ volumes surged 16.3%. Food volumes slipped 0.3%.
In non-food, sales of watches and jewellery did well as consumers began purchasing Christmas gifts early. Volumes bought in DIY stores increased, while there were falls among entertainment and electrical retailers.
Fashion retailers recorded a “slight” increase in volumes as a result of mild temperatures in October, while footwear sales volumes fell.
Online sales accounted for 10.5% of all retail sales in the month, increasing 1.1% against the same period last year, as retailers launched excusive online promotions.
Deloitte UK head of retail Ian Geddes said: “Year-on-year growth remains strong and as consumer confidence continues to improve, retailers will be hoping for better results as we head towards the festive season.
“October’s small month-on-month decline will have been partly driven by the mild weather conditions.”
“Last year, October marked the start of a slowdown in sales for the fourth quarter in 2012, retailers will be expecting a much stronger performance this golden quarter.”
Barclays head of retail and wholesale Richard Lowe added: “The year-on-year increase revealed today is a positive result. Retailers are now firmly focused on delivering a bumper Christmas, which is expected to be “very Appy” as festive shoppers are predicted to spend more than ever using their mobile devices.”
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