• October retail sales volumes up 0.6% on the month, up 0.9% on the year

Commenting on the retail sales figures for October, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The retail sales figures were better than expected, although longer term comparisons still point to a flat picture. Most analysts were expecting a fall in sales volumes after the September increase, but the ONS suggests the increase was a result of pre-Christmas sales and in-store promotions.

“While the improvement in sales is welcome, the relentless squeeze on disposable incomes will put pressure on people’s ability to spend in the next few quarters. While the government must persevere with efforts aimed at reducing the budget deficit, more must be done to reallocate priorities within the overall fiscal plan. Policies to support growth must also be prioritised so that businesses can create jobs, export and invest. The government’s commitment to helping businesses drive the recovery will be put to the test at the end of the month when the Chancellor delivers his Autumn Statement.”