Retail sales recovered strongly in the year to December if the results of the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) latest Distributive Trades Survey are to be believed.
The poll’s reported sales balance rose to 34 points from 1 in November, as 48% of those canvassed said that sales were up on year-ago levels while another 14% indicated to the CBI that they were down.
The consensus estimate had been for a reading of 10.
Likewise, retailers expect robust growth in sales volumes to continue in the year to January.
Elsewhere, wholesalers’ sales were broadly flat on a year ago for a second consecutive month, while sales were flat in the motor trade sector.
Barry Williams, Asda Chief Merchandising Officer for Food and Chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey Panel, said: ‘[...] Customers have clearly held off spending through the Autumn and we’re only now seeing them start to hit the stores. Retailers are now gearing up for the crucial pre-Christmas week and are optimistic for the New Year.’