// Retail sales rose this month at the sharpest pace in nearly 7 years
// 60% of retailers reported higher sales in the year to August, according to CBI
// Retailers are currently struggling with operational challenges
New research has found that retail sales rose in August at the sharpest pace in nearly seven years as consumer spending drove economic recovery.
The CBI found that 60 per cent of retailers reported higher sales in the year to August.
This was up from 23 per cent in July and the highest reading since December 2014.
Although demand remains, retailers are currently struggling with operational challenges as labour shortages are affecting supply.
The shortages are also creating inflationary pressure in the sector.
The CBI said that selling prices in the three months to August rose at their fastest pace since November 2017 and that they are likely to continue rising over the coming months.
Of the 104 businesses surveyed by the CBI, 73 per cent said that prices were up compared with the same month a year ago.
This was up from 53 per cent in May.
In July, retail sales fell considerably as broader parts of the economy emerged from lockdown.
“A ramping up in retail sales growth in the year to August shows just how much consumer demand continues to spur economic recovery,” CBI economist, Alpesh Paleja said.
“While sales growth is set to remain strong, a more definitive shift in household spending towards consumer services is anticipated later in the year, leading to greater normalisation of growth in the retail sector.”