Belfast Telegraph

Grocery and clothing sales drive growth as sunshine adds 'sizzle' to high street

Retail sales exceeded expectations to grow at a healthy pace in the year to July, firms have reported.

Grocery and clothing sales drove the growth, while orders placed on suppliers rose at a solid pace for a second consecutive month, the CBI Distributive Trades Survey of 111 firms found.

Overall, sales for the time of year were considered to be slightly above seasonal norms.

Retailers also expect steady growth in both sales and orders in the year to August, at paces similar to those seen this month.

Anna Leach, CBI head of economic intelligence, said: "The warm summer has added a sizzle to our high streets as shoppers defied expectations, with sales growth in clothing shops and grocers driving overall performance.

"But while retailers expect a similar pace of growth next month, the factors underpinning their sales growth are more shaky.

"Although employment is strong, real incomes are falling in the wake of higher inflation, and that's expected to feed slower consumer spending growth ahead."