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U.K. Retail Up, But Still Cautious

For the first time in three months, U.K. retail sales rose in October according to the Office for National Statistics in London. Last month posted a 0.5 percent increase from September. Consumers bought more sports gear and games, and brought forward spen

For the first time in three months, U.K. retail sales rose in October according to the Office for National Statistics in London. Last month posted a 0.5 percent increase from September. Consumers bought more sports gear and games, and brought forward spending to avoid next year's increase in value-added tax.

Clothes and shoe shops saw sales rise by 0.6 percent last month while other  shops, (includes bookshops, sports goods retailers, jewelers and pharmacies) enjoyed a 1.6 percent increase. Supermarkets and other food stores posted a 0.1 percent rise. The largest fall was in department stores where sales dropped 0.8 percent, followed by household goods stores with a 0.6 percent decline. Food-store sales increased by 0.1 percent, and non-food stores had a 0.3 percent gain, the statistics office reported.

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