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ONS Retail sales up 3% in October

Retail sales rose 3% by value year-on-year in October and volume was ahead 3.4%, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The month-on-month rise was 0.4%.

Clothing and footwear retail sales were up 4.2% by value over the month and the clothing and footwear category notched up a volume increase of 10.7%.

Richard Hyman, strategic retail adviser to Deloitte, said the data was not surprising against the comparative period last year, when Lehman’s collapsed.

He warned that rising unemployment, higher taxes, the possibility of higher interest rates next year, tight consumer credit conditions and people’s determination to save were among factors which may affect retail sales in 2010.

“As a result of these factors, we expect retail sales to take a slight fall of 1.5% next year, although this is still a fantastic performance given the scale of the economic downturn and the continued pressures facing the consumer,” said Hyman.

Prices are estimated to have been down 0.4% year on year, in October, the ONS said.

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