July sunshine spurs retail sales growth

Retail sales growth picked up in the year to July, exceeding expectations for minimal growth, according to the latest monthly CBI Distributive Trades Survey.

In a survey of 57 retailers, 48% said sales volumes were up in July on a year ago, whilst 26% said they were down, giving a balance of +22%, outperforming expectations.

Anna Leach, CBI head of Economic Intelligence, attributed the recent warm weather to the lift in sales on the high street.

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“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,” she said.

“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.”

Looking ahead, 40% of retailers expect steady expansions in both sales and orders in the year to August, at paces similar to those seen this month.

Internet sales volumes expanded at a steady pace in the year to July (+43%) and are expected to grow at near similar pace in the year to August (+41%)

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