British retailers reported that sales fell less rapidly in September than the month before, when they declined at their sharpest rate in more than a decade, the Confederation of British Industry said on Wednesday.
The CBI's monthly index of reported sales rose to -16 in September from -49 in August, a somewhat bigger rebound than economists had forecast on average in a Reuters poll.
The gauge of orders placed with suppliers rose to -9 from -59, but stores still judged that sales were poor for the time of year, with this measure dropping to -11 from -6.
Retailers remained under pressure from a weaker currency, as well as concerns about tariffs and delays to imports if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal on 31 October, the CBI said.
"Five successive months of falling volumes tells its own story about the tough conditions retailers are having to operate in," the CBI's chief economist, Rain Newton-Smith, said.