UK retail sales up by 0.8%

<p>The UK’s retail sales grew by 0.8 per cent during October, according to ONS figures.</p>

The UK's retail sales grew over the course of October, according to official figures.

Sales across the country were up 0.8 per cent over the course of the past month compared to September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) noted. It was also a 4.3 per cent increase on October 2013 highlighting that shoppers are hitting the high street more often than in previous years.

While sales were on the rise, prices had dropped by 1.5 per cent over the course of the year. The ONS highlighted this as the largest decline since December 2002 and put it down to the falling price in petrol. Figures from the government department showed that petrol and diesel prices were at their lowest rate since the close of 2010.

Consumers and retailers alike are gearing up for the traditional busy shopping period of Christmas. People all over the country will be writing up their Christmas list and determining which presents to buy their loved ones. Both high street and online stores will be banking on a busy festive period.

Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at business services group Deloitte, explained that the UK is partaking in the US-inspired "Black Friday" which will take place on November 28th. This is followed up by "Cyber Monday" on December 1st. These busy online shopping days are expected to be "record-breaking" and provide a considerable boost to vendors prior to Christmas, Mr Geddes added.

The Deloitte expert went on to say: "A stronger than expected month, albeit driven by discounting, will bring some cheer as we start the run-up to Christmas."

Supermarkets will be banking on a profitable festive period with the likes of Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Tesco experiencing some tough trading conditions in recent months. The rise of discounters Aldi and Lidl has increased pressure on these more traditional stores.

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