Retail sales grow faster than expected

Shoppers

Sales grew on the high street at a much stronger rate than had been anticipated in the year to September, according to the CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey.

The survey of 119 firms showed that sales volumes were well above the average for the time of year, to the greatest extent since April 2007.

Sales volumes grew strongly for grocery (+32%) and specialist food & drink (+47%), which was the highest since November 2013.

In wholesale, 54% reported sales volumes to be up on last year, and 27% said they were down, giving a balance of +27%.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director of Economics, said: “Low inflation and the recovery in wage growth are helping to stimulate consumer demand, but the slowdown in the global economy and tight margins mean retailers won’t get ahead of themselves as we head into autumn.”

The CBI expects further encouraging results next month.