ONS figures confirm a healthy month for shops

October sees sales – and consumer confidence – rise

Figures from the Office of National Statistics published yesterday (Thursday November 19th) have confirmed that retail sales were up in October.

The ONS numbers back reports from the BRC and, more specifically to the cycle market, from ActSmart, that reported that retail had flourished last month.

October sales rose 3.4 per cent compared with October 2008 – up 0.4 per cent on September 2008.

British Retail Consortium economist Richard Lim said: "The official data confirm our findings that October’s retail sales growth was stronger than September’s.


Lim underlined the difference between the economic climate at the end of 2008 and last month: "A year ago customers were extremely nervous about spending. Now consumer confidence is rising and there’s a sense that there is some spending out there to be fought over. Shops have already begun to discount and promote in earnest as they fight it out to win what custom there is to be had.

"Retailers will be hoping the improved consumer confidence and housing market stability will be sustained into Christmas and beyond. But 2010 has many uncertainties, including on jobs, taxes and government spending. They could well undermine the extra willingness to shop we’ve seen from customers recently."

Halfords‘ recently financials also saw a rise in sales, though that was in the period of 26 weeks running until October 2nd.

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