September saw retail sales grow at their fastest pace in two years despite gloomy forecasts of spending squeezes and dwindling consumer confidence.
According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 56 per cent of retailers saw an increase in sales in September compared to a year prior with just 15 per cent stating their sales were down, averaging the highest growth since September 2015 at 42 per cent.
Furthermore, 37 per cent expected growth to continue next month compared to 14 per cent who expected a decline.
The grocery sector saw sales shoot up 49 per cent, alongside a clothing sales boost of 75 per cent.
Meanwhile, online continued to perform well, growing 54 per cent in September compared to 34 per cent in August.
Suppliers also had a promising month as orders placed by retailers grew. This follows a decline in August suggesting retailers are expecting continued growth next month.
“It’s encouraging to see some vigour returning to the retail sector in September, with sales growth picking up from August and consumer demand expected to hold up reasonably well next month,” CBI head of economic intelligence Anna Leach said.
“But inflation continues to squeeze household budgets, and with the pressure on incomes set to persist, retailers will continue to face a challenging environment.
“The Government has the opportunity to provide a fillip for retailers in the forthcoming Budget – particularly those maintaining a physical presence on the High Street – by bringing forward the switch in the indexation of business rates from RPI to CPI.”