Retail sales have been rising on a year-on-year basis for almost two-and-a-half years in the UK, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced on Thursday (22 October). September retail sales were 1.3% higher than August spending in the UK.
Compared to September 2014, the month saw a 1.9% increase in volume and a 1.4% increase in spending. This difference is largely due to a 3.6% fall in retail prices excluding petrol.
The ONS said those falling prices and promotions linked to the Rugby World Cup hosted in England motivated UK consumers to buy more stuff. September was the 29th consecutive month of year-on-year increases.
Jeremy Cook, chief economist at international payments firm World First, said the early England exit from the tournament did not harm the sales volumes significantly. "The Rugby World Cup may be over for the Home Nations but the beneficial impact is being felt long after the knocks and bruised egos," he said.
"Sales volumes rose by 1.9% on the month, which is the largest amount since December 2013, with falling prices in food and alcohol components contributing to a 2.3% gain.
"Overall the dynamics of the UK economy are strongly in favour of additional consumer expenditure with negative inflation and strong wage rises boosting overall confidence while the wobble in emerging markets has merely served to allow the man in the street to continue to think that interest rates will not be moving higher anytime soon."
Despite messages from the Confederation for British Industry that online shopping is experiencing a growth slowdown, online sales value jumped by more than 15% on a year-to-year basis in September, and was up 4.5% from August.