UK sees steady increase in retail sales over past few months
The United Kingdom is hoping to bounce back from the recession as economic conditions continue to improve throughout the country. It seems as though things will keep getting better as retail sales over the past few months have shown solid increases, leading many economists to believe that the U.K. might finally be pulling away from the negative impact of the downturn. The recent positive numbers are giving both retailers and consumers optimism for the near future, and industry experts hope that the trend will continue.
October posts strong year-over-year retail sales
Retailers across the country reported positive sales gains for the month of October, according to latest Distributive Sales Survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Forty-seven percent of respondents stated that their sales are up since a year ago, while only 17 percent reported losses since October 2011. Additionally, more than one-quarter of retailers believe that November will also see stronger sales than the same time last year.
Many sectors within the retail industry experienced gains over the past year, with clothing seeing one of the highest increases from October 2011, with a 57 percent rise. Footwear retailers also reported solid sales for the seventh consecutive month, as their numbers increased by 39 percent year-over-year, the survey revealed.
"It is great news that last month's sales growth has continued into October, at a much faster pace than expected, and that this momentum is expected to continue next month too," stated CBI head of economic analysis Anna Leach. "Falling inflation has somewhat eased pressures on family budgets, so that households are a little more willing to spend. But there's still a risk that ongoing uncertainty over the global economic outlook could dent consumer confidence, hitting prospects for the retail sector, while the scope for inflation to fall further is limited."
September retail sales higher than expected
Perhaps one of the largest contributors to the positive numbers in October came from the previous month, as U.K retail sales in September were better-than expected. Bloomberg Businessweek writes that according to a report from the Office of National Statistics, sales increased by 0.6 percent throughout the month from August. This was a significant rise from the 0.4 percent gain that was forecasted by economists. Industry experts state that higher demand for winter clothing as well as back-to-school sales were large factors to the growth, as clothing purchases increased by 2.1 percent from the previous month.
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