CBI: High street sales up again

Confederation of British Industry survey reports strong trade rise
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The latest CBI quarterly distributive trades survey has shown a rise in UK high street sales in September, marking the third consecutive month of sales increases, as well as the third YoY sales increase.

Sixty per cent of retailers questioned said the volume of sales rose during September, while 11 per cent said that it had fallen, giving a balance of +49 per cent. This was the highest balance since +51 per cent in May 2004, and compares to an expected figure of +39 per cent last month.

Sales volumes of +14 per cent were also above average for the time of the year and for the first recorded time since June 2007.

For October, a balance of +47 per cent of firms expect a higher volume of sales than those last year.

“High street sales have performed well again this month, with growth better than retailers predicted. The bank holiday weekend, combined with the tail-end of summer sales have resulted in a bumper period for retailers. Clothing and footwear sales in particular look to have been boosted by the launch of new autumn ranges,” said CBI chief economic advisor Ian McCafferty.

“Retailers expect sales growth to continue next month and, as we get closer to January, sales will be helped by households seeking to beat the VAT rise. However, weak prospects for take-home pay mean that consumer spending is likely to be fairly restrained in 2011.”

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