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Total food sales rose 1.6% in the three months to 1 October, according to the September BRC/KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, which represents the sectors best performance since November 2013.

The recent pick-up in the Food performance places the 3-month average at about three times the rate of the 12-month average of 0.5%.

Total sales were up 1.3% in September, which was down on the 3.9% growth in September 2015 as non-food sales stalled.

Non-food sales rose 0.5% over the three month period, dragging down the 12-month average to 1.3%. The fashion categories were affected by the warmer weather while the back-to-school and big ticket items reported solid growth.

The weaker non-food sales meant that on a three month basis total UK retail sales rose 1%, which is marginally ahead of the 12-month average of 0.9% - the lowest 12-month average since the RSM began in 1995.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC said: “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.”

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD added: “In encouraging news for food and grocery companies, the growth seen through the summer months continued into September. Shoppers are feeling generally upbeat, with three-quarters expecting their personal financial situation either to improve or stay the same in the coming year, up from 69% in August.

“Although the sales growth remains modest, grocery retailers and manufacturers have reason to feel optimistic as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas come on to the horizon.”

Morning update

It’s another quiet morning on the markets so far.

There is a trading update from AIM-listed Russian supermarket group Magnit PJSC, which has announced 13.7% retail sales growth in rubles for September 2016. During September 2016 the Company opened (net) 123 stores to take its total store base reached 13,364 stores.

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 is on the up again, rising 0.2% and now trading at 7,114.2pts – which is higher than its highest ever closing value of 7104pts.

Early risers include troubled Crawshaw Group (CRAW), up 5.9% back to 36p, Real Good Food (RGD), up 2.4% to 42p, SSP Group (SSPG), up 2.4% to 330.2p and Hotel Chocolat (HOTC), up 2.1% to 245p.

Fallers so far include McBride (MCB), down 2% to 185p, Glanbia (GLB), down 1.7% to €16.42 and Greencore (GNC), down 1.1% to 305.2p.

The pound is on the slide yet again, this time dropping below $1.23 to trade at $1.2287. The pound was at $1.49 before the Brexit result in June.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 closed in again on its record high after rising a further 0.8% to 7,097.5pts yesterday, largely driven higher by a rally amongst mining stocks.

However, the pound continued its slump from last week into this week, sliding below $1.24 to end trading at $1.2315.

There was little dramatic movement for the grocery sector’s major stocks, with the listed three supermarkets edging up during the day. Tesco (TSCO) was the day’s best performer, rising 0.9% to 203.1p, Sainsbury’s (SBRY) was up 0.8% to 233.8p and Morrisons (MRW) was up 0.4% to 218.6p.

Marks & Spencer (MKS) was also up 1.4% to 321.5p but the day was not so rosy for Ocado (OCDO), which fell back 1.5% to 254.7p.

Other notable risers during the day were SSP Group (SSPG), up 1,9% to 322.4p and Coca-Cola HBC (CCH), up 1.7% to 1,829p.

Fallers included AG Barr (BAG), down 2.4% to 474.3p, McColl’s Retail Group (MCLS), down 3.4% to 180.6p and PayPoint (PAY), down 3.8% to 1,009p. Also down were Greencore (GNC), falling 1.1% to 308.6p and Britvic (BVIC), down 1% to 584.5p.