By Daniel Hunter

Official figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that UK retail sales volumes fell 0.7% in October.

The ONS said that mild weather affected sales of winter clothing. However, sales volumes are still up 1.8% from a year earlier, indicating increased consumer confidence.

The month-on-month fall was unexpected - many economists had forecast sales to stay unchanged. The retail sector represents about 5% of the UK economy.

Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays, said: "The year on year increase revealed today is a positive result. Retailers are now firmly focused on delivering a bumper Christmas, which is expected to be 'very Appy' as festive shoppers are predicted to spend more than ever using their mobile devices."

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