Oct. 23, 2020, 2:37 a.m. EDT

U.K. retail sales beat forecasts in September

By Xavier Fontdegloria

Retail sales in the U.K. grew for fifth straight month in September and at a quicker pace than that of August, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.

Sales volumes increased by 1.5% in September compared with the previous month, taking the overall level of sales 5.5% above February's pre-pandemic levels.

The reading beats expectations from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, who forecasted sales to rise 0.5%.

On an annual basis, retail sales were up 4.7%, above the economists' expectations of a 3.6% increase.

While food sales have done well in recent months as people have eaten out less, nonfood store sales have made a recovery to 1.7% above their February levels, the report said.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at xavier.fontdegloria@wsj.com

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