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Sunday 01st of November 2009
October 27, 2009    

CBI reports rise in retail sales

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by Kay Murchie

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has today reported a rise in retail sales with volumes rising at their fastest annual rate for almost two years in October.

The CBI’s distributive trades survey said the sales balance rose to +8 in October from +3 the previous month. Not only was it the highest level since December 2007, it also exceeded forecasts of a reading of +5.

Stores which sell white goods and furniture particularly improved, reflecting the recent activity and rising property prices in the housing market.

Commenting on today’s figures, Andy Clarke, chairman of the CBI’s distributive trades panel, described the outlook for November as “encouraging” but cautioned that “overall the economy remains troubled and some retailers will find the recovery slow and painful.”

Mean while the John Lewis Partnership, owner of the Waitrose supermarket chain as well as the renowned employee-owned department store, has reported a fifth consecutive week of rising sales in the week to 17 October. The group is seen as a barometer of British retailing.

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