Retail sales rose 3% by value year-on-year in October and volume was ahead 3.4%, the Office of National Statistics reported. The month on month rise was 0.4%.
Sales at predominantly food stores advanced 3.9% by value, while at non-food shops the rise was 0.9%.
Among non-food stores, clothing and footwear was up 4.2% and household goods 2%. Non-specialised stores delivered the biggest uplift of 5.9%, but the “other stores” category suffered a 5.1% decline. Non-store retailing and repair was up 14.5%.
Food stores’ volume climbed 1.6% and non-food 3.5%. Fashion and footwear shops notched up the biggest volume increase of 10.7%, followed by non-specialised stores at 7.8%.
Richard Hyman, strategic retail adviser to Deloitte, said the data was not surprising against the comparative period last year, when Lehman’s collapsed.
He warned that rising unemployment, higher taxes, the possibility of higher interest rates next year, tight consumer credit conditions and people’s determination to save were among factors which may affect retail sales in 2010.
“As a result of these factors, we expect retail sales to take a slight fall of 1.5% next year, although this is still a fantastic performance given the scale of the economic downturn and the continued pressures facing the consumer,” said Hyman.
Prices are estimated to have been down 0.4% year on year, in October, the ONS said.