Retail sales in the UK rose for the first time in three months in October, although figures are down year-on-year.
Economic data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that retail sales increased by a higher than expected margin of 0.5% last month compared with September.
It brings a welcome end to two months of falls and sales by volume over the last three months are up by 0.1% on the previous quarter period.
Despite the monthly rise, volumes are still down by 0.1% on the same month in 2009.
Increased sales at non-food stores were key to the overall upturn, with sales at clothing and footwear stores recording a rise of 0.6%.
"These figures were stronger than expected and support our assessment that the economy will continue to grow in the fourth quarter of 2010. But there is no room for complacency," said David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce
"The increase in October comes after two monthly falls, and the figures may be artificially inflated by people bringing forward purchases ahead of the VAT increase in January.
"With businesses and consumers continuing to face pressures, it remains important to do everything possible to minimise the risks of a setback next year when the deficit-cutting plan starts to bite.
"The Government and the MPC must focus on nurturing the economic recovery."
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