Shoppers buying winter clothing and school uniforms helped the wider retail sector enjoy a better-than-expected bounce-back to sales growth last month, according to official figures.
Retail sales volumes rose 0.6 per cent in September, following an upwardly revised 0.1 per cent fall in August, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday. City experts had predicted a 0.4 per cent increase.
There was some hope for the wider economy’s prospects as well after retail sales across the third quarter as a whole grew at the fastest rate since June 2010.
David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The figures may point towards a return to positive growth, with the first estimate of GDP for Q3 expected next week.”
The retail sector has endured a tough year with the likes of Blacks Leisure, Clinton Cards and JJB Sports going into administration.
The figures echo surveys from the British Retail Consortium and CBI, which also revealed a bounce-back to growth last month.
Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Capital Economics, said: “September’s rise in UK retail sales volumes suggests that consumers loosened their purse strings a little, albeit partly due to temporary factors.”
The autumnal weather was behind a 2 per cent month-on-month rise in clothing sales, while the release of the eagerly anticipated iPhone 5 appears to have provided a boost.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North