1. Market Data
May 29, 2014

UK retail sales up in May: CBI

British retail sales increased for the sixth straight month in May, but at a slower pace than in April, according to the latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

British retail sales increased for the sixth straight month in May, but at a slower pace than in April, according to the latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The survey of 136 firms showed that grocers, furniture & carpets, clothing and chemists saw sales volumes rise, whereas department stores’ sales declined on a year ago.

During the period, internet retail sales also rose robustly, but at the slowest pace since June 2013.

Many sub-sectors saw strong sales performance: furniture & carpets (+60%), and footwear & leather (+61%), saw strong sales performance among others, while hardware & DIY (+33%), chemists (+19%) and grocers (+33%) also witnessed growth.

In contrast, non-specialised stores (i.e. department stores) (-48%), recreational goods retailers (-33%) and specialist food & drink retailers (-42%) witnessed drop in sales volume.

CBI Distributive Trades Survey Panel chair Barry Williams said, "Retailers’ predictions of further sales growth bore fruit this month. Although that growth was at a slower rate than expected, the fact we’ve seen a steady increase for six consecutive months is a sign we’re heading towards sustainable growth and strengthening consumer optimism – and it’s good to hear shopkeepers telling us they expect even stronger figures next month."

The agency noted that retailers expect a faster rise in sales next month, and also improve their business situation over the coming quarter.