Britain's retail sector expanded at its fastest pace in 14 years in October, with sales growing across all sectors, official figures released on Thursday (17 November) showed.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), retail sales including auto fuel rose 7.4% on an annual basis last month, compared with analysts' expectations for a 5.3% gain, while September's gain was revised up from 4.1% to 4.2%.
October's was the fastest rate of growth since April 2002, the ONS said, adding all store types showed growth with the largest contribution coming from non-store retailing.
On a month-on-month basis, retail sales increased 1.9%, compared with analysts' expectations for a 0.5% growth. Meanwhile, September's figure was revised upward to show a 0.1% increment.
The retail industry continued to show strength on a quarterly basis as well, with the quantity bought in the three-month period increasing by 1.9% compared with the previous quarter to mark the 34th consecutive period of quarterly growth.
Average store prices fell 0.7% year-on-year across all store types, except petrol stations. The figure marked the smallest decrease since July 2014 and was in line with the latest Consumer Price Index, which showed the largest upwards pressure on inflation came from transport costs.
"The lower pound is also helping to boost the retail sales as a weaker currency helps many to buy British and helps boost the economy," said James Hughes, chief market analyst at GKFX.
"There are two things needed for a string economy, spending and lending, today's figures show the latter is in a very healthy position."