Central London retail sales put on their strongest growth last month since October 2008, according to the BRC-KPMG London Sales Monitor.

However retailers have been warned to view the improvement with caution because of weak comparables. Like-for-like sales in September jumped 7.5% compared with last year when sales dipped 0.2% as the financial crisis took hold.

Food sales growth was dampened by lower food inflation, but clothing and footwear picked up and homewares and furniture showed an uplift.

Sterling’s weakness against the curo continued to attract European visitors and Middle Easter shopper numbers increased as Ramadan came to a close.

BRC director-general Stephen Robertson said: “It must be treated with caution. This August’s figure was compared with a strong performance a year ago. September’s figure is compared with a very weak performance last year.”

He added: “These results offer retailers a glimpse of optimism in the all important run-up to Christmas. But consumer confidence is volatile and could easily slip back.”