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Financial News: UK Retail Sales Continue Rising Trend In Run-up

UK Retail Sales Continue Rising Trend In Run-up To Christmas

12/20/2017 - 06:38:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK retail sales sustained its robust growth trend in the run-up to Christmas and is expected to repeat the same next month, but underlying conditions remained tough as the squeeze on earnings continue, survey results from the Confederation of British Industry showed Wednesday.

The retail sales balance dropped to +20 in December from +26 in November, the monthly CBI Distributive Trade Survey showed. That was less than the +30 balance predicted in the previous survey, but in line with economists' expectations.

The survey was carried out among 109 firms, of which 56 were retailers.

Going forward, retailers expect similar growth in both sales volumes and orders next month, the CBI said. The survey showed that 27 percent of respondents expect sales volumes to increase next month, with 10 percent expecting a decrease, giving a balance of +17.

Grocers led the sales growth in December as Britons stocked up on food for Christmas.

"Notwithstanding the sales growth seen in the last couple of months, underlying trading conditions are tough for retailers," CBI Principal Economist Alpesh Paleja said.

"We expect the squeeze on real pay for households to last a while longer, so retailers will still face challenging conditions ahead."

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