CBI: High street sales and business sentiment 'are up'
Despite the UK being placed firmly back in recession, a new report has revealed high street sales and business sentiment are both on the rise - which is positive news during these difficult times.
According to the Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) latest Distributive Trades Survey, consumers have been more liberal with their cash this month than a year ago, while firms think their outlook for the next quarter will improve.
Some 43 per cent of retailers reported their sales volumes were up compared to the same period in 2011, while less than one-quarter (23 per cent) reported a fall.
Nevertheless, sales still posted lower than what is considered typical for the time of year as the economic crisis continues to bite.
Furthermore, sentiment concerning the business climate for the coming three months has also taken an upward turn, rising three per cent for the first time since November 2011.
Grocers, non-specialist outfits such as department stores and furniture and carpet retailers recorded the biggest increases, while the number of people employed by the sector climbed by 12 per cent for the first time since February 2003.
One-quarter of industry leaders expect sales volumes to rise on 12 months ago in June, while three per cent more believe the business environment will remain stable.
Chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and Asda chief operating officer Judith McKenna commented: "It's encouraging to see high-street sales up compared to a year ago and that business sentiment about the next three months has improved."
In spite of this positive news, the pound has not been making gains.
At 08:36 BST today (May 30th), sterling was down versus the dollar and Japanese yen, with £1 buying 123.6 yen and $1.5.
However, the pound was stable in trading with the euro, with £1 equalling €1.2, while it made advances against the Indian rupee, climbing 0.5 per cent buying 87.4 rupees.
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