Sales on the High Street were higher than a year ago in October, according to the latest CBI monthly Distributive Trades Survey.
The figure was positive for the fourth month in a row, with retailers also predicting a slightly faster increase in sales for November.
The survey showed that 58 per cent of retailers said that the volume of sales rose during October, while 22 per cent said that it fell, giving a balance of +36 per cent.
As in the previous month, clothing and footwear and leather sub-sectors saw particularly rapid growth.
Looking ahead to November, and a balance of +43 per cent of retailers expect a higher volume of sales than a year ago.
"Retailers expect sales growth to continue next month, in the run up to Christmas," said Lai Wah Co, CBI head of economic analysis. "We should also see more of a boost to sales as shoppers look to beat the New Year VAT rise, but looking beyond that, broader consumer caution may temper growth in spending into 2011."