High street sales continue to grow strongly

Retailers have reported a further improvement in the growth of sales volumes and orders in the year to June, although they are lower than anticipated for the time of year.

In the CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey, covering the first two weeks of June, 58 per cent of retailers reported that sales were up compared to this time last year, and 17 per cent stated that sales had fallen.

The resulting rounded balance of +42 per cent was stronger than retailers had expected (+25 per cent) and was the fastest growth reported since December 2010 (+56 per cent).

Retailers are expecting increases in both sales and order volumes in the year to July (+32 per cent and +21 per cent respectively). However, the pace of this growth is expected to ease.

Despite this, retailers still considered the volume of sales to below par for this time of year (-10 per cent).

Chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and chief operating officer of Asda Judith McKenna said: “Retailers have continued to report strong growth in both their sales and orders. The Jubilee provided a much-needed boost to our high streets, with many families and communities making the most of the Bank Holiday and coming together to celebrate.

“However, it is notable that sales were still considered to be below par for the time of year. Weak consumer confidence and uncertainty over the economic outlook are still putting a break on consumer spending across the whole retail sector.”

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