UK high street sales in the year up to October showed the most positive rate of growth in almost two years, research has shown.
The CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey showed that the high street expects even stronger sales growth in November.
41 per cent of respondents to the survey said that sales volumes had risen in the year to October, while 33 per cent said they were down.
19 per cent of retailers expected sales to increase in November – the most optimistic projection since July 2007.
In terms of stock, three per cent of firms said the volume of orders placed had fallen, but many predicted orders would rise in November.
"The latest official data shows the economy is still in recession, however the retail sector seems to be finding its feet again after a challenging year, and the outlook for November is encouraging. But overall the economy remains troubled and some retailers will find the recovery slow and painful,” Andy Clarke, chairman of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel, and chief operating officer of Asda, said.
"It is heartening to see signs of life in sectors related to the housing market, particularly those retailers selling white goods and furniture, who have had a torrid two years. And we think some consumers will bring forward big ticket purchases to beat the VAT rise in January."