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Financial News: British Retail Sales Growth Fastest Since Mid-2015: CBI

British Retail Sales Growth Fastest Since Mid-2015: CBI

04/27/2017 - 06:49:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK retail sales grew the most since the middle of 2015 during April and the trend is expected to continue next month, albeit at a slower pace, suggesting that the ongoing political uncertainty is not slowing down consumer spending, results of a survey by the Confederation of British Industry, released on Thursday, revealed.

The monthly CBI Distributive Trades survey showed that 59 percent of retailers surveyed said that sales volumes grew in April on a year ago, while 21 percent reported a decline, giving a balance of +38.

The balance figure outperformed the expected +16, and was the highest since September 2015, when the score was +49.

The sales growth expectation balance was +16 percent and the survey balance for orders placed with suppliers was +18, the highest since October 2015, when it was +19.

The survey was carried out among 112 firms, of which 57 were retailers. Overall, sales for the time of the year was slightly above seasonal norms, the survey said.

"Retail sales held up better than expected, especially considering that the Survey did not cover the Easter period," Ben Jones, CBI principal economist, said.

"The warm weather in early April might go some way to explaining the uptick, with sales by clothing shops and grocers driving overall growth."

That said, retailers are still cautious over the outlook, expecting slower growth over the year to May, as higher inflation eats into household spending, the economist noted.

"With price competition remaining fierce and rising costs squeezing margins, retailers face mounting pressures in the months ahead," Jones added.

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