The high street saw higher sales this month as retailers geared up for the festive period, a closely-watched survey has shown.
The CBI distributive trades survey said that a balance of 33% of retailers reported improved sales volumes in the first two weeks of November - the highest level since June.
The figures will lift hopes for wider economic growth in the fourth quarter amid fears that the UK's rebound between July and September was shortlived.
Anna Leach, CBI head of economic analysis, said: "This survey is reason to be cheerful as we head into the festive period."
The CBI said year-on-year sales volumes growth was positive in nine of the 13 retail sectors.
Looking ahead to December, volumes growth on the year is expected to slow slightly, although retailers remain relatively cautious about the overall outlook.