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UK retail sales rose in the year to October: CBI

RBR Staff Writer Published 28 October 2014

UK retail sales volumes continued to grow in the year to October, with another strong rise expected in the month ahead, according to CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey.


During the period, sales growth was mixed across different sub-sectors, and sales fell below average for the time of year.

The CBI's latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey of 124 firms showed a third successive month of firm above-average sales growth.

Grocers and the clothing sector in particular saw an acceleration in sales growth. In contrast, sales was reported in other sectors, including hardware & DIY and specialist food & drink. Chemists' sales fell for a second consecutive month.

During the period, volume of orders placed on suppliers rose at a faster pace than expected, while stock adequacy picked up strongly.

Elsewhere, sales in the wholesale sector continued to grow robustly in the year to October and volumes are expected to rise strongly again next month. Sales growth for motor traders picked up, after a marked slowdown in the previous month.

CBI Economics director Rain Newton-Smith said: "Sales on our high streets are still ticking along and, with similar prospects next month, retail growth is looking more stable.

"The clothing sector in particular appears to be bouncing back after the mild weather in September deterred people from buying their winter warmers.

"The recent fall in inflation may help lift the spirits of households by making their budgets stretch further. But risks remain to the UK recovery more generally, with the Eurozone stalling, conflict in the Middle East and tensions over Ukraine. This could have an impact on consumer confidence and spending going forward."

Image: UK retail sales rose in the year to October. Photo: Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/suphakit73.