Retail sales volumes and orders grew strong in the UK in October 2012, according to a survey by Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The CBI’s Distributive Trades Survey conducted over first two and a half weeks of October, showed that 47% of retailers reported gain in sales volumes on a year ago, while 17% reported sales fall.

A positive 30% resulting rounded balance was stronger than retailers had expected and the fastest growth reported since June.

With the rise in sales, the volume of orders placed on suppliers increased moderately by 4%, compared to expectations of being flat 2%.

Despite the second consecutive month of sales growth, the high-street retailers still considered the volume of sales to be below average for the time of year, CBI noted.

Most retail sub-sectors reported an improvement in year-on-year sales growth. Clothing and furniture & carpets recorded highest year-on-year increases in sales 57% and 58% respectively.

Sales in clothing sector were 56%, the first sales growth since July. Grocers also reported a rise in year-on-year sales volumes for the sixth month running and the footwear & leather sector remained strong, with sales increasing by 39% for the seventh consecutive month.

CBI noted that sales in wholesale division slightly fell on a year ago, despite expectations of modest growth, and sales are expected to continue falling in November.

CBI Economic Analysis head Anna Leach said, "It is great news that last month’s sales growth has continued into October, at a much faster pace than expected, and that this momentum is expected to continue next month too."