Official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown a slowdown in September's retail sales growth, with clothing and footwear sales dropping by 1.1 per cent. This is thought to be the result of consumers holding back their autumn/winter purchases in the face of unseasonally warm weather.

Overall, retail sales were up 0.4 per cent month-on-month and by 4.6 per cent on the previous year. Although the three-month growth rate climbed to 0.7 per cent from 0.4 per cent in August, it was still below levels seen earlier in the year.

Sales at non-specialised stores such as department stores were 3.8 per cent ahead.