Retailers enjoying bumper Christmas sales says CBI

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Majority of shopkeepers feel positive about yearly sales growth.

Retailers on the high street are feeling more positive about sales growth today than at any point in the past eight years.

The CBI Distributive Trades Survey reveals that for December, 67 percent of retailers said that sales were higher than a year ago, while just 11 percent said they were lower, giving a balance of +56 percent, the highest figure since April 2002 (+57%).

The current survey marks the sixth month in a row that a sizeable majority of retailers have reported year-on-year sales growth.

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“Sales on the high street continued to rise strongly compared with a year ago, reflecting a stronger crucial pre-Christmas trading period,” said Ian McCafferty, CBI chief economic adviser.

McCafferty believes that January could see a slow down as the increase in VAT kicks in. “December’s strong survey balance is also likely to capture spending being brought forward, ahead of the January increase in VAT. Indeed, retailers expect sales growth to lose some momentum in the New Year. We remain cautious about prospects for the retail sector further ahead, given ongoing uncertainty over the resilience of consumer spending,” he warns.

 

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