By Marcus Leach

October's retail sales figures were disappointing, with official data showing a 0.8% decrease in sales volumes.

The Office for National Statistics's data shows that, following September's 0.5% rise in sales volumes, the retail sector was unable to build upon that success.

One of the main reasons for the decrease was the fact shoppers have cut back on food and clothing purchases.

Food stores reported the biggest monthly decline in sales since November 2011.

Other key findings:

- Compared with October 2011, the quantity of goods bought (all retailing seasonally adjusted volumes) in October 2012 was estimated to have increased by 0.6 per cent. Between the same periods, the amount spent (all retailing seasonally adjusted sales values) was estimated to have increased by 1.6 per cent.

- Looking at the monthly picture (October 2012 compared with September 2012) both the quantity of goods bought and the amount spent decreased following increases between August and September.

- The estimated prices of goods sold in the retail sector were estimated to have increased by 0.9 per cent since October 2011. Consistent with the Consumer Prices Index one of the main sources of upward pressure was estimated to come from price rises in stores selling food.

- The estimated average weekly spend across all retailing in October 2012 was £6.8 billion; compared with £6.6 billion in September 2012 and £6.7 billion in October 2011.

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