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Scottish Retail Sales Monitor - October Sales Show Cautious Optimism

In October 2013 total Scottish sales increased by 2.1% compared with October 2012, when they had decreased by 1.3% according to the SRC-KPMG Scottish Retail Monitor. 

Like-for-like sales decreased by 0.5% on last October, when they had decreased by 2.8%. Taking account of shop price deflation at -0.5%, October total sales were up 2.5% in real terms.

October sales picked up slightly from September but total growth remained below the three-month average of 2.4%.

Total food sales were 3.0% up on October 2012, when they had increased 2.3%. Total non-food sales increased by 1.3% on a year earlier when they had decreased by 4.7%.

October total sales growth was lower in Scotland than in the UK but the three-month averages remained close.

Fiona Moriarty, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: "These figures show that there's all to play for as Christmas approaches. It's reassuring to see a partial pick-up in growth after a disappointing slowdown in the previous month, but it's clear that many households are still feeling the squeeze and keen to keep some money aside for seasonal spending closer to December."

"Food put in a decent performance in October, with indications that customers responded well to more wintry fare as the nights started to draw in. In contrast, non-food faltered, mainly due to subdued demand for warmer clothing and footwear until more autumnal conditions set in later in the month."

"Overall this is an acceptable result which tallies with the relatively stable consumer confidence levels of the last few months. Retailers will be hoping that this very tentative boost gains some momentum as many of us start thinking about making some headway on our Christmas lists."

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