UK retail sales recovered slightly in November, according to the latest data from the CBI survey.
The CBI’s quarterly distributive trades survey revealed that 39 percent of respondents noted a rise in sales volumes in November compared to a year ago.
Conversely, 13 percent noted a downwards trend, giving a balance of +26 percent.
This compares to -36 percent in October, which proves significantly ahead of analysts’ expectations of +5 percent.
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, commented:
“It’s great to see retail sales rebound this month after a big dip, but let’s be clear: our high streets are not out of the woods. Ahead of the crucial run up to Christmas, the weaker pound has pushed up prices and retailers are nervous about business conditions and are trimming their workforces.
“The relief from the rising burden of business rates in Chancellor’s Budget will be welcome on the UK’s high streets, as will the investment in local transport connections and housing which should supporting our local communities but the job is not done, now is the time for swift delivery.”
The survey also said that retailers anticipates sales volumes to pick up again next month, with 39 percent growth ahead of the profitable Christmas period.
Back in October, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data revealed that UK retail sales dipped in 0.3 percent, with unseasonably warmer weather disrupting profits.
This follows the unveiling of the Autumn Budget for 2017 from the Chancellor on Wednesday.
Alongside several new budget proposals from Mr Hammond, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) revealed a relatively grim outlook for the British economy as it looks to exit the European Union.
This comes amid a report released on Thursday, which suggested that the UK is headed for the longest dip in people’s living standards since records began.
Nevertheless, the chancellor remained upbeat about the economy during an interview with BBC Breakfast. He said:
“confidence will return, certainty about the future will return, businesses will start investing, consumers will start buying big ticket consumer items again and that will help to get our economy growing again faster”.
Retailers will be looking to Black Friday to propel sales, with some reports suggesting that UK shoppers are expected to spend £10 billion during the week.