Retail sales rise, but remain below pre-Covid levels

October retail sales increased by 0.6%, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics.

The increase followed a drop in September when shops closed for the Queen’s funeral. Sales volumes for the three months to October declined by 2.4%, compared to the previous three months.

Non-food store sales rose by 1.1% in the month, but were still 1.7% below the February 2020 levels. Sales volumes for department and household goods stores fell by 0.3% and 4% respectively.

Non-store retailing posted a 1.8% sales volume growth for October, after a 2.5% decline in September.

British Retail Consortium chief executive, Helen Dickinson, commented: “Rising retail sales continue to mask a fall in volumes, as inflation continued to inflict pain on retailers and consumers alike.

“Consumer confidence improved slightly as the political turmoil of recent months began to abate. Retailers are hoping sales will pick up a little as the World Cup and festive season approaches, but there is little chance of them catching up with current double-digit inflation.”

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