March retail sales growth exceeds expectations

People crowd Oxford Street, one the main shopping streets in central London on December 14, 2013, with only two weekends to go until Christmas. AFP PHOTO/JUSTIN TALLIS

Retail sales volumes held broadly steady in March exceeding expectations of growth slowing, according to the CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey.

Whilst the survey in not specific to the jewellery industry, the positive report could indicate good news for consumer spending.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI director of economics, says: “It’s encouraging to see that sales are holding up and expectations have picked up further.  Retailers are still facing challenging global conditions but will welcome the Chancellor’s Budget reforms to business rates, making it easier for them to operate on the high street. Continued low levels of inflation and more jobs will continue to boost household spending, also giving a helping hand to firms.”

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The survey of 125 firms consisting of 63 retailers showed that sales volumes were stable and that companies expect volumes to accelerate in April.

Meanwhile, orders placed on suppliers also exceeded expectations of a fall in March and reported moderate growth over the year. Next month, orders are likely to remain steadfast and are expected to grow at the same rate.

Retail sales growth for the time of the year was considered to be at an average level, whilst the volume of internet sales held broadly steady in the year to March and growth is set to pick up slightly next month.

 

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