CBI: Retail sales volumes rise in April

| April 27, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) today said retail sales volumes rose for a third consecutive month in April but at a slower rate than anticipated.

However, the CBI said retailers expect sales growth to pick-up next month, with the expected sales balance for May rising to +17.

According to analysts, the figures suggest consumer spending is picking up following the blip in January when the big freeze hit sales on the High Street.

The reported sales balance in the CBI’s monthly distributive trades survey remained flat at +13 in April, slightly less than economists’ forecast of a reading of +15 and retailers’ own expectations of a +14 reading.

Commenting on the figures, Vicky Redwood of Capital Economics, said: “We still have our concerns about spending in the second half of the year. But for now, consumers still seem to be playing their part in the wider economic recovery.”

Meanwhile, Andy Clarke, chief operating officer of Asda and chairman of the survey panel, highlights that the UK economic recovery remains fragile and last week’s unemployment figures will have “unsettled many shoppers”.

The figures come just a few days after the Office for National Statistics revealed the UK economy grew by an estimated 0.2% in the first quarter of 2010 - half analysts’ expectations of 0.4%.

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