High street sales grow for fourth month running

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Majority of retailers report sales volumes are above seasonal average.

High street sales have grown for the fourth month running with volumes for October 2010 up on the previous year, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Distributive Trades Survey

The survey revealed that 58 percent of retailers said the volume of sales rose during October, compared to only 22 percent who claimed it fell, giving a balance of 36 percent.

A balance of 20 percent of retailers considered sales to be above average for the time of the year, the highest since May 2007 at 21 percent.

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As in previous months, the clothing and footwear, and leather sub-sectors, saw particularly rapid sales growth, whereas sales of durable household goods saw a slower increase of 22 percent, after four months of stronger growth.

Looking to November, a balance of 43 percent of retailers said that they expect a higher volume of sales than a year ago.

CBI head of analysis Lai Wah Co said: “High street sales in aggregate have performed well again this month, but sales of durable household goods have slowed noticeably, in line with more subdued housing market activity of late.

“Retailers expect sales growth to continue next month, in the run-up to Christmas. We should also see more of a boost to sales as shoppers look to beat the New Year VAT rise, but looking beyond that, broader consumer caution may temper growth in spending into 2011.”

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