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.