British retailers reported a smaller annual fall in sales for September than during the previous month and expect a modest improvement in the months ahead, the Confederation of British Industry said on Monday.

The CBI's September monthly retail sales survey - conducted between Aug. 25 and Sept. 13 - showed the headline balance rebound to a three-month high of -14 from August's more than two year low of -44.

"There are some elements of optimism in our survey with retailers expecting the recent fall in sales to continue to ease," CBI Principal Economist Martin Sartorius said.

"Last week's lower than expected inflation figures, which in turn will ease pressure on household budgets, will also give retailers some hope going into the crucial autumn and winter trading period," he added.

Retailers' expected sales balance for October rose to a three-month high of -8. (Reporting by David Milliken, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)