Christmas shopping came to retail’s rescue in November, following dismal sales throughout the previous month.
According to the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) quarterly survey, 39 per cent of retailers said sales volumes were up year-on-year, compared to only 13 per cent saying they were down on last month.
Outlook has also improved, with 39 per cent of retailers expecting sales volumes to rise again during December, and just nine per cent expecting them to fall.
Thirty-four per cent of respondents also stated that orders placed to suppliers had risen in the year to November, against 11 per cent who said it had fallen.
Inflation saw the fastest pace of price rises since 1991, up 75 per cent, with a similar boost expected through the next month.
“It’s great to see retail sales rebound this month after a big dip, but let’s be clear: our high streets are not out of the woods,” CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said.
“Ahead of the crucial run up to Christmas, the weaker pound has pushed up prices and retailers are nervous about business conditions and are trimming their workforces.
“The relief from the rising burden of business rates in Chancellor’s Budget will be welcome on the UK’s high streets, as will the investment in local transport connections and housing which should supporting our local communities but the job is not done, now is the time for swift delivery.”