DIY and hardware sales boom

Published:  20 December, 2010

LONDON: Retail sales of hardware and DIY goods are up according to the latest CBI Distributive Trades Survey.

Overall high street sales continue their upward trend, with strong year-on-year growth in the first half of December.

Wholesalers report a different picture. While 19% said the volume of sales rose compared with a year ago, 31% said they fell, giving a rounded balance of -13%. The balance for the three-month moving average was +3%.

Wholesalers are optimistic about next month, with a balance of +25% expecting sales to be higher in January on a year ago, the survey said. However, retailers anticipate slower growth next month, with a balance of +35% expecting volume of sales to be higher than a year ago.

Ian McCafferty, CBI chief economic adviser, said: "Sales on the high street continued to rise strongly compared with a year ago, reflecting a stronger crucial pre-Christmas trading period.

"However, December's strong survey balance is also likely to capture spending being brought forward, ahead of the January increase in VAT. Indeed, retailers expect sales growth to lose some momentum in the New Year. We remain cautious about prospects for the retail sector further ahead, given ongoing uncertainty over the resilience of consumer spending."

The survey was conducted between 25 November and 8 December, and 121 firms participated.

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