UK retail sales recover in August

Retail sales rebounded in August, following a fall in July after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Figures released on Thursday by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) show that retail sales volumes grew in the year to August, beating expectations for a further fall this month.

?The summer weather has brought shoppers out onto the high street with retailers reporting that sales growth has risen, outdoing expectations, although firms do expect sales growth to ease next month,? commented Anna Leach, head of economic analysis and surveys at the CBI.

?While the fall in Sterling has boosted visitor numbers to the UK, it is likely to push up the price of imported goods over time which will mean households will be more likely to rein back spending on non-essentials.?

Among retailers surveyed by the CBI, 35% reported that sales volumes were up in August compared to a year ago, while 26% said they were down, giving a balance of +9%.

That?s much stronger then the industry?s forecast for August of -12, as measured by the CBI last month, and a big improvement from -14 in July.

A balance of +3% anticipate a rise in sales volumes in September.

The volume of orders placed with suppliers fell for a fifth consecutive month, but retailers expect them to grow somewhat in the year to September.

Growth in internet sales volumes picked up in the year to August and broadly similar growth is expected next month.

The CBI also noted that retailers? investment intentions for the year ahead turned positive following the most negative results since 2013 in the previous quarter.

Retailers anticipate a further small improvement in their business situation, although sentiment is improving at a slower rate than over the past year.

The survey also revealed that average selling prices fell compared to a year ago, after rising over the first half of the year.

Various businesses surveys over the past two months have shown mixed results and economists say it will take some time before the full impact of the EU referendum is clear, the Wall Street Journal reported.