High street sales in the United Kingdom increased strongly in May, contrary to economists' expectations for a decline, data from a survey by the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) showed Tuesday.
The survey showed that 43 percent of traders reported an increase in retail sales volumes in May, while 23 percent said sales deteriorated. The resultant balance of 21 percent indicates a significant increase in sales compared to a year earlier. Economists were looking for a balance score of -6 percent.
At the same time, the outlook component indicated an improvement in sentiment regarding the business situation in the next quarter. The corresponding balance rose to 3 percent, which was the first positive reading since November 2011.
"It's encouraging to see high-street sales up compared to a year ago, and that business sentiment about the next three months has improved.Judith McKenna," chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel, said. "However, sales are still below the average for the time of year and the combination of high unemployment, slow wage growth and weak consumer confidence means that the retail sector is likely to remain under pressure in the short term."
by RTT Staff Writer
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