Posted: 29/10/2015

Retail sales growth eased in October, says CBI

Self-service checkout
Grocers saw a slight slowdown in the pace of growth in October compared with the previous month

Growth in sales volumes across the UK’s big retail stores slowed in the year to October after a strong showing in September, according to the CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey.

The survey of 112 firms by the employers’ organisation saw retail volumes rise less strongly than expected in the year to October. Sales in major grocers were up by a lower-than-forecast 20%.

However, sales overall were still viewed as well above average for the time of year, and growth is expected to improve slightly next month.

Internet sales picked up pace in the same period and are expected to accelerate in November.

Almost all retail sectors saw growth in the year to October, but both grocery and clothing saw a slight slowdown.

CBI director of economics Rain Newton-Smith said: “Growth in sales and orders for high street retailers remains resilient, but there has been a slight slowdown in the pace of that growth following a strong September.

“Internet sales are starting to ramp up again as we head towards Christmas and we would expect them to continue this positive pattern until the end of the year.

“Low inflation and improving wages mean the prospects for sales growth are decent, but challenges remain, like the weakening global economy and competitive pressures in the retail sector, so we can’t take this positive outlook for granted.”

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