Retail Sector Continues to Post Solid Growth Figures, Survey Shows

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1st October 2014 10:54 - Retail

The retail sector has continued to post solid growth figures in terms of sales volumes in the year to September, according to the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) monthly Distributive Trades Survey.

The study, which was conducted with 123 respondents, discovered that almost half (48%) of retailers said their sales volumes had increased, compared to less than one fifth (17%) who said they fell, giving it an overall balance of +31%.

Department stores (+100%) incurred the strongest growth, with footwear and leather (+61%) and furniture and carpet (+81%) retailers posting strong gains too.

Furthermore, one third (33%) of the retailers questioned said that their orders were up, compared to around one sixth (15%) who said they fell, giving this area a balance of +19%.

More than two fifths (42%) of the survey’s participants said they expect sales volumes to increase in the year to October, while 16% said they predict they will fall.

In addition, six in 10 (60%) wholesalers said that sales volumes increased in the year to October, with less than one in 10 (8%) stating they had fallen, giving it a collective balance of +53% - the highest recorded since December 2012.

According to CBI’s research, sales in the wholesale sector are expected to grow at a similar pace in the year to October.

And, finally, almost half (46%) of the motor traders questioned said that their sales volumes increased in the year to October, with slightly less (41%) saying they fell, giving the industry a balance marginally over neutral (+5%). As a result, sales volumes for motor traders are expected to fall next month to -20%.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI’s Director of Economics, said: "Solid growth continues on the high street, with most sectors doing decent business and department stores performing particularly well. However, the pace of growth in the grocery sector tailed off significantly compared with the previous survey.

"Retailers are expecting sales to grow again next month, but at a steadier pace."

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