Some shoppers have been searching early for Christmas bargains, department stores reportedJACK TAYLOR/GETTY IMAGES

Things could be looking up for Britain’s retailers as the UK high street recorded its best September sales performance in five years.

Figures from BDO show that overall like-for-like sales were up 2.9 per cent, reflecting the best monthly growth since April 2014. BDO said that well-received autumn fashions and carefully targeted discounting helped to improve clothing sales by 2.7 per cent in September, compared with a drop of 5.9 per cent at the same time last year.

BDO said that sales of lifestyle goods grew by 3.5 per cent and some department stores reported that bargain-hunting shoppers were searching for early Christmas presents, boosting the lifestyle and gifting sector.