Sales on the high street were up again in September – the third consecutive month of growth.

Sixty percent of retailers polled in the CBI’s latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey said business volumes improved in the past month, while just 11% said volumes were down.

A majority of suppliers also said volumes were up in the four-week period.

“High street sales performed well again this month, with growth better than retailers predicted,” said the CBI’s chief economic advisor, Ian McCafferty.

“The bank holiday weekend, combined with the tail-end of summer sales, have resulted in a bumper period for retailers.

“Retailers expect growth to continue next month and, as we get closer to January, sales will be helped by households seeking to beat the VAT rise. But weak prospects for take-home pay mean that consumer spending is likely to be fairly restrained in 2011.”

Gemma Lovelock of TLC Marketing Worldwide added: “Although fmcg will hold up relatively well, especially as we edge closer to Christmas, we expect high-ticket items and consumer durables to be hardest hit in the months ahead.”