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Retail sales rise more than expected in September

Retail sales rose by 0.6% in September after a fall of 0.4% in August. The rise was led by a surprise increase in spending on laptops, computer games and online shopping.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail sales rise more than expected in September

Retail sales rose by 0.6% in September after a fall of 0.4% in August. The rise was led by a surprise increase in spending on laptops, computer games and online shopping.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics also revealed that sales were 0.6% higher than September last year.

In contrast, clothing and footwear sales fell 2.1% compared to September 2010 as the warmer autumn weather deterred shoppers from updating their winter wardrobes. This was the largest fall since April 2008.

Commenting on the figures British Retail Consortium director general, Stephen Robertson, said: “Even the slightest growth is good to see in these tricky times but the combination of high inflation and last year’s VAT rise means there is little real growth here to cheer the retail sector. Once again the weather has been shown to have a major impact on shoppers’ habits. Consumers snubbed new winter clothing and footwear lines as September ended with an exceptional burst of summer.

“Christmas has always been the most important time for retail but this year is going to be particularly critical as businesses look to make up lost ground. Customers can expect to benefit from extremely fierce competition for their spending.”

 

 

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