Britons started their Christmas shopping early this year, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In October, retail sales volumes increased by 1.2 percent in the U.K. when compared with September, marking the sixth consecutive month of growth. The increased reached 6.4 percent for non-store retailing, 3.2 percent for household goods stores and 3.1 percent for department stores.

Year-on-year, retail sales volumes increased by 5.8 percent, with feedback from a range of businesses suggesting that consumers had started Christmas shopping earlier this year, further helped by early discounting from a range of stores, according to ONS.

In value, retail sales increased by 7.9 percent when compared with February, which was the last month before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.K., driven by digital sales, up by 52.8 percent, while in-store sales declined by 3.3 percent.