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14-year high for retail sales growth

By Josie Clarke

UK retail sales rose at their strongest yearly rate in more than a decade in October as shoppers bought winter clothes and supermarkets reported a successful Halloween.

Sales were 7.4% higher than the same month last year, the fastest growth since April 2002, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.

Online sales were at their strongest for five years, proving that consumers remained eager to shop despite uncertainty over the potential fallout from Brexit.

ONS senior statistician Kate Davies said: "The strong figures this month have been boosted by several factors. Cooler temperatures boosted clothing sales as shoppers took their cue to purchase winter clothing, while the supermarkets benefited from Halloween. This also coincided with the strongest growth in internet sales for five years."

The underlying pattern throughout the retail industry continues to show "strong growth" following the 34th consecutive period of three-month on three-month growth, the ONS added.

Average store prices, including petrol stations, fell by 0.7%.

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