British retail sales rose in September as Britons bought the new winter clothing collections and school uniforms, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Thursday, raising chances that consumers may help keep the economy on track for recovery.
ROSS WALKER, RBS
"Although retail services form a relatively small share of GDP, I think it shows that consumer activity has normalised after those second quarter distortions. We're more confident after these figures that we'll get the sort of quarterly growth figure we want."
"In terms of the September output, I think it's likely the Olympics played a role. This rise has followed two months of decline."
SAM TOMBS, CAPITAL ECONOMICS
"September's rise in the official measure of UK retail sales volumes suggests that consumers loosened their purse strings a little, albeit partly due to temporary factors.
"Nonetheless, some of this growth seems to have reflected temporary factors, not least a recovery from the Olympics-related drop in spending in August.
"The autumnal weather probably also explains some of the 2 percent rise in clothing sales volumes. And the release of the eagerly-anticipated iPhone 5 also appears to have provided a small boost - sales volumes of computer and telecoms equipment were up 7.6 percent month-on-month. Looking ahead, the renewed pressure on households' income suggests that sales volumes will struggle in the coming months."
ANNALISA PIAZZA, NEWEDGE STRATEGY
"Today's retail sales report is relatively encouraging as it suggests that consumption was up a touch in Q3. That said, personal consumption is not likely to add much momentum to GDP growth in Q3 and prospects for the remainder of the year are also not much rosier as uncertainties about the overall economic picture are still bleak."
ALAN CLARKE, SCOTIABANK
"It was a good number. Onwards and upwards. The trend has been improving throughout the year. This is no surprise because elevated inflation was the biggest drag on consumer spending, and that's gone down significantly."
"On year by year terms, schools always go back in September. There are other one-off things that might have made these figures so promising. We had the Olympics back in August which might have kept some people away from the shops then. This could be the bounce back."
JENS LARSEN, RBC
"They are a little bit stronger than expected, but these are extremely volatile data and don't feed into the first release of GDP due next week. I take it as a small positive but not something that effects my outlook materially."
(Reporting by UK economics team)