Wholesale volumes slow

Published:  30 September, 2010

LONDON: Wholesale sales volumes rose for the second month in September but the increase was slower than in August, according to the latest CBI quarterly Distributive Trades Survey.

It predicts a broadly similar rise in sales next month: 47% of wholesalers said that volumes were higher than a year ago and 33% said they were down, giving a balance of +14% which was slightly lower than expected last month (+22).

Retail sales were higher with 60% of retailers surveyed reporting sales up in September, while 11% said they fell. This is the third consecutive year-on-year increase and surpasses expectations. Retailers expect another strong rise in sales next month, the CBI said.

Economists expect retail momentum to peter out as the government's austerity measures take effect citing a surprise fall in retail sales between July and August, shown by Office for National Statistics data.

Ian McCafferty, the CBI's chief economic adviser, said: "High street sales performed well again this month, with growth better than retailers predicted. The Bank Holiday weekend, combined with the tail end of the summer sales have resulted in a bumper period for retailers."

Despite the gathering clouds, the CBI said that the furniture and carpet retail sectors, which have enjoyed a difficult two years, reported "solid sales" over the period.

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