Two-thirds of retailers (62%) listed on the London Stock Exchange issued positive trading statements in the third quarter of 2007, with 100% of all food and drink retailers reporting an increase in like-for-like sales, according to a new report.

The level of positive trading statements was the highest since chartered accountancy Grant Thornton introduced its Quoted Retail Companies Index in 2003 and was double the previous quarter’s result of 31%.

The number of negative trading statements fell to 15%, down from 19% in the second quarter. Only three retailers, all in the non- food sector, issued profit warnings, said the report.

David Bush, head of Grant Thornton’s retail services team, described the results as extraordinary. He believed a further interest rate rise was needed to curb consumer spending, which "is continuing unabated".

Many retailers reported that margins improved in the third quarter, highlighting, Bush said, the scope to raise selling prices in the current economic climate.