CBI survey shows retail sales pick-up

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Retail sales grew at their strongest pace for more than a year in September, the CBI said on Thursday.

The CBI, a trade body for industry, said sales figures exceeded already solid expectations, with growth reported for the third month in a row. Further sales growth was expected next month.

The net balance of companies reporting a rise in sales volumes for the trade body’s Distributive Trades poll rose from 27 per cent in August to 34 per cent – the strongest reading since last June. A net balance of 31 per cent of companies expected sales to rise again in October.

“Retail sales have grown for the third month running, and today’s strong figures will no doubt provide a fillip for the high street,” said Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale banking at Barclays.

“Retailers will now be hoping for more seasonal weather to help sales of new autumn/winter collections and for consumer confidence to tick up as we head towards the crucial Christmas trading period.”

Grocers made the biggest contribution to the better figures with furniture and carpet retailers, department stores and recreational goods retailers also reporting a strong pick-up in sales. Chemists were the only retailer to report a dip in sales.

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