09 October 2012 10:52
The cooler weather in September helped retail sales return to growth, as customers stocked up on coats, boots and knitwear, the British Retail Consortium has said.
Retail sales values were up 1.5% on a like-for-like basis last month, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said, compared with a 0.4% drop in August.
The increase was driven by clothing and footwear sales, which saw its best growth since last Christmas, partly helped by the favourable weather, the BRC added.
The improvement in retail sales also comes as the rate of inflation continues to ease, falling from 5.2% to 2.5% in nearly a year and loosening the grip on consumer spending power.
Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, which represents some 60% of retailers, said: "After a poor summer for sales, this is a return to growth rates we've come to regard as relatively acceptable in these relentlessly tough times. The improvement has come from the weather and a change in the mindset of some customers."
The BRC research echoes the latest CBI survey, which also revealed a bounceback in sales in September after the previous month's Olympic disappointment.