Retail sales bounced strongly in September, aided by the later than usual Bank Holiday period that lifted categories including furniture.

Big-ticket furniture goods helped retail sales climbed 3.9 per cent in all and by 2.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis, according to the British Retail Consortium’s Retail Sales Monitor.

The figures—likely to be echoed by next week’s official figures from the Office for National Statistics—benefitted from the later

Bank Holiday weekend, which had held comparative sales back in August.

It meant September’s uplift was the strongest since January 2014, with furniture sales growth the highest in over a year, the BRC said.

The trade association’s CEO Helen Dickinson said: “Sales growth was boosted by the August Bank Holiday, which fell in this period as opposed to August last year, shifting back-to-school sales into September, so such strong growth is likely to be overstated.

“Furniture was September's top performing category, with the highest sales seen since April of 2014. Footwear, the second best performing category, had its best performance since March of last year.”