Retailers reported a “strong” increase in sales volumes in October, the second consecutive month of growth.
The CBI Distributive Trades Survey found that 47% of retailers posted a rise in sales volumes for the first two and a half weeks of October against the same period last year, while 17% of retailers said they had dropped.
The +30% balance exceeded expectations of +15% and represented the fastest rate of sales growth since June, which was +42%.
The report found that a similar proportion of retailers (+27%) expect sales volumes to increase in November.
CBI head of economic analysis Anna Leach said: “It is great news that last month’s sales growth has continued into October, at a much faster pace than expected, and that this momentum is expected to continue next month too.
Despite this growth, retailers still consider volume of sales to be below average for the time of year, but this is an improvement from last month when retailers said volume of sales were “significantly” below average for the time of year.
Leach added: “Falling inflation has somewhat eased pressures on family budgets, so that households are a little more willing to spend. But there’s still a risk that on-going uncertainty over the global economic outlook could dent consumer confidence, hitting prospects for the retail sector, while the scope for inflation to fall further is limited.”
Clothing and furniture and carpets retailers posted the greatest year-on-year sales increases, which were +57% and +58% respectively. Clothing retailers posted their first sales growth since July when it was +56%. Supermarkets reported a rise in year-on-year sales volumes for the sixth consecutive month at +33%.