UK retail sales rose by 0.8% in October as prices fell

Christmas shoppers in London Image copyright Getty Images

UK retail sales rose by 0.8% October compared with September, according to official figures.

There was growth in all sectors, except non-store retailing, the Office for National Statistics said.

Compared with October 2013, sales were up 4.3%, the ONS said.

Over the year, average prices fell by 1.5%, the largest decline since December 2002, helped by a fall in the price of petrol.

Petrol and diesel prices were at their lowest level since the end of 2010, the ONS said.

Average UK pump prices at the end of November stood at 122.5p per litre for unleaded petrol, having hit a four-year low earlier in the month.

Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at business services group Deloitte, said: "A stronger than expected month, albeit driven by discounting, will bring some cheer as we start the run-up to Christmas."

While online sales have "shown some loss of momentum," he said, these should "pick up in November".

The proportion that online sales contributed to total sales fell by 0.1% in the month, ONS said.

However, busy online shopping days - the US-inspired "Black Friday", which in 2014 falls on 28 November, and "Cyber Monday", which is the Monday afterwards - should be "record-breaking", Mr Geddes said.

Grocery sales were "marginally better", he said, but an intense supermarket price war meant market conditions were tough.

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