Strong demand for new autumn clothing and footwear ranges have helped UK retailers grow their sales for the third month running in September, according to new figures released today (28 September).

Data from the CBI shows that not only were September high street sales higher than a year ago, but also that retailers expect another strong rise next month.

Sixty per cent of retailers surveyed by the employers' organisation said that the volume of sales rose during September, while 11% said that it fell, giving a balance of +49%. This was the highest since May 2004 and exceeds forecasts.

Sales volumes (+14%) were also above average for the time of the year for the first time since June 2007.

"High street sales have performed well again this month, with growth better than retailers predicted," said CBI chief economic advisor Ian McCafferty. "The bank holiday weekend, combined with the tail-end of summer sales have resulted in a bumper period for retailers.

"Clothing and footwear sales in particular look to have been boosted by the launch of new autumn ranges."

But he warned that while sales are likely to get a boost ahead of January's VAT rise, "weak prospects for take-home pay mean that consumer spending is likely to be fairly restrained in 2011."