Belfast Telegraph

Retail sales are better than expected, says CBI survey

By Roger Baird

Retail sales comfortably beat expectations this month driven by strong demand for autumn fashions and the ongoing supermarket price war.

The latest survey from the CBI gave an upbeat picture as the number of retailers who said sales rose in September, compared with those who said they fell, hit a balance of plus 49%, against expectations of plus 35%. It was the report's highest level since May.

The survey added that the number of retailers who reported sales volumes above average for the time of year was at a balance of plus 35%, the highest since April 2007. Economists had expected a balance of plus 21%.

The report said the biggest drivers of retail demand were grocery and clothing sales, with shoppers buoyed by rising wages and low inflation.

Firms said orders to suppliers jumped to a balance of plus 44%, the quickest pace since December 2010, and they are expected to strengthen further next month.

Belfast Telegraph