UK high street retailers have seen their first sales growth since January as consumers spent more freely on lifestyle goods like jewellery.
A year-on-year growth of 0.7% marked the end of a nine month period of sales drops which began with a 1.7% fall in February, according to the BDO high street sales tracker.
October’s rise was due to low unemployment and encouraging post-referendum data after the UK avoided recession, says the accountancy firm.
The boost is promising for jewellery retailers before heading into the crucial Christmas period and the BDO told thisismoney.co.uk that consumers had been spending ‘with a freedom not seen since the January sales’.
BDO’s head of retail and wholesale, Sophie Michael, told the financial website: “Shoppers have reminded everyone of their resilience and this result provides a promising start to a crucial trading quarter.
“Prices will inevitably rise next year in the context of the falling pound, but right now people are remarkably upbeat about their finances.”
But Christmas could prove a challenge for jewellery retailers as the need to cut prices to push sales because of competition is countered by rising inflation.
It is predicted that inflation increase as stores face the prospect of either taking the hit of higher import costs at the expense of profits or passing them on to shoppers.
Inflation rose 1% in September and last week the Bank of England predicted that inflation will grow steadily to 2.7% by next year.