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The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has revealed a growth in UK retail sales in September.

According to the BRC – KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, on a total basis, sales rose 1.3% against a 3.9% increase in September 2015, which had been the best month of 2015, excluding Easter distortions.

On a three-month basis, Total UK retail sales rose 1.0%, marginally ahead of the 12-month average of 0.9%. This is the slowest 12-month average on records since the inception of the RSM in 1995.

On a three-month basis, Total Non-Food sales rose 0.5%, dragging down the 12-month average to 1.3%, whilst big ticket items reported solid growth.

The BRC has also called on Government negotiators to put consumers first in the forthcoming Brexit talks by ensuring their sights are firmly set on keeping shop prices low once the UK leaves the European Union.

Pledging a positive and constructive approach to achieving the best possible outcome from the negotiations starting in March, the BRC said in a letter to Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox that the Government’s strategy must focus on finding opportunities for lowering import costs as well as avoiding any increase in tariffs.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive, British Retail Consortium, said: “Today’s figures show a return to sales growth, primarily driven by stronger food sales which saw their highest increase since November 2013. On the flipside, sales growth of non-food items remained sluggish.

“September saw the consumer confidence index restored to levels seen before the EU referendum in June which did translate into a willingness to spend on bigger ticket items. However, the monthly outturn continues to highlight ongoing volatility in retail spending and to reflect longer- term economic headwinds as retailers begin to seek to mitigate the impact of higher import costs due to the fall in the value of the pound.

“The BRC will be ensuring that in the forthcoming Brexit talks, Government negotiators have their sights set firmly lowering import costs as well as avoiding any increase in tariff costs as the UK leaves the EU.”