Retail sales are forecast to grow steadily towards Christmas before rocketing above historic levels in January.

The Opera Solutions Retail Predictor (OSRP) for Retail Week indicates sales growth will be 3.9% year-on-year in October, 4.2% in November and 4.5% in December, all above the 10-year average of 3% or just over.

Retail sales are then expected to increase 5.3% in January.

The forecast will buoy retailers ahead of the crucial Christmas trading period.

According to the OSRP, despite weaker sales in August, the “underlying pattern remains one of growth”.

However, there was a note of caution about the positive outlook for the next six months. “The sustainability of this growth could be threatened by the high inflation dampening the consumers’ buying power,” the OSRP cautioned.