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UK Retailers Turn A Bit More Hopeful Despite Sluggish Sales, CBI Says

By Donna Ahern
UK Retailers Turn A Bit More Hopeful Despite Sluggish Sales, CBI Says

British retailers turned slightly more optimistic about the outlook for their businesses in the coming months but sales continued to fall in November ahead of the key Christmas shopping season, a recent survey showed.

The Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) monthly retail sales balance, a gauge of sales over the year to November, picked up to -11 from a very weak -36 in October.

It was the seventh consecutive monthly negative reading for sales, reflecting the squeeze on many households from an inflation rate that is still running at 4.6% in the latest figures and the climb in borrowing costs.

Consumer Sentiment 

However, sentiment amongst retailers improved with a net balance of +4 expecting their business situation to improve over the next three months, up from -14 in August and the second-highest reading in the quarterly series in two years.


"Though sentiment has picked up slightly, firms do not feel that a revival in activity is imminent," CBI principal economist Martin Sartorius said.

Retailers Cut Back 

Retailers cut back on orders placed upon suppliers in the year to November but less sharply than in October.

Orders were expected to decline a bit less slowly in December than businesses had expected for November.

The survey was based on responses from 53 retailers and was conducted between 27 October and 14 November.


Read More: UK Retail Sales Slide Again In October In New Blow For Economy

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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