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UK retail sales rise for the first time since January

Press Release   •   Jul 29, 2013 12:14 BST

Retail sales in the UK have risen for the first time since January, according to the Confederation of British Industry's latest monthly distributive trades survey.

The survey shows the volume of sales balance increased to +17 in July, up from the +1 level seen in June and the highest reading since January when it also hit +17. The survey shows the retail sector expanding at the start of the third quarter.

As much as 43 percent of firms reported that sales volumes were up on a year earlier in July and 26 percent said sales were down. The average balance was the highest since January 2013.

Retailers expect the pace of sales growth to slow next month, however, with the expected sales volume balance falling to +10 for August, down from the +13 level forecast for July

The CBI offered no explicit indication of whether or not the hot weather seen during the month had boosted sales.

Stephen Gifford, CBI director of economics, said: "The feel-good factor from the heatwave and early summer sales has helped boost high street sales, after a very weak start to the year."

A positive knock-on effect on retail sales will continue due to the birth of the royal baby, continued good weather and discounts.

Regarding online sales, A new report has revealed the UK's online retail boom is slowing down. While the growth rate is very much healthy, it has slowed down annually since 2008, when online sales grew exponentially by 50 percent, compared to 15 percent in 2012.

Online retail sales growth in the UK slowed for the fourth year running, leaving retailers with a tougher fight to gain market share.

For more information on the UK retail market, see the latest research: UK Retail Market

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