British retail sales grew strongly again this month, according to the CBI. It was the third month of above average sales growth reported in its survey of retailers and beat City expectations for a slowdown in October.
Sales enjoyed their fastest growth for more than three years when counted over the three-month period of August to October. Retailers were also upbeat about the month ahead, forecasting another strong rise in sales.
The headline findings were upbeat and contrast with a report earlier this month from the British Retail Consortium that high street and online stores had put in their weakest performance since the 2008-09 recession.
Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI’s director of economics, commented: “Sales on our high streets are still ticking along and, with similar prospects next month, retail growth is looking more stable. 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.”