Retail sales grew by an annual 1.9 percent on
alike-for-like basis, which strips out changes in store size, the British
Retail Consortium said, up from 1.6 percent in August.
The increase follows other signs that consumers in Britain are adapting to the
rise in inflation caused in large part by the fall in the value of the pound
after the referendum decision to take the country out of the European Union in
The Bank of England, which has signalled it is close to its first rate hike in
a decade, is expecting a pick-up in spending.
The BRC said growth in total sales last month slowed slightly to 2.3 percent
from 2.4 percent in August but remained stronger than in most months so far
However, consumers were not displaying much confidence in their shopping
“Spending is still being focused towards essential purchases with consumers
buying their winter coats and back-to-school items, but shying away from
big-ticket items such as furniture and delaying the renewal of key household
electrical goods,”BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said.
On a like-for-like basis, food sales were up 2.5 percent in the three months to
September while non-food sales were up only 0.5 percent, the BRC data showed.
The Confederation of British Industry said last month its measure of retail
sales showed unexpected growth in sales to a two-year high in early September,
again helped by strong food and clothing sales.
Accountancy firm BDO said on Friday that British shops enjoyed their biggest
jump in sales in more than three years in September.