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Christmas rush 'yet to materialise' says CBI

High street sales are up but retailers will need a late Christmas rush to score a strong performance according to the CBI High Street Survey.

Four in 10 respondents (38%) said year-on-year volumes were up for the first half of November while 25% said they were down.

The resulting 13% balance is in line with the last six months but was much lower than the performance in the first half of the year, when the balance peaked at 44%.

Looking ahead, a balance of 11%, expect December to pull in modest growth.

Almost half of the retailers that responded said that average selling prices are up on a year before. 46% of respondents said their prices for the fortnight ended November 14, were higher than 12 months ago, while 4% said prices were lower.

John longworth, chairman of the CBI's distributive trades panel and executive director of Asda said: "Despite the intense compeition in the run up to Christmas, when we anticipate that retailers who focus on value will do better than the rest, the survey shows that prices are expected to rise again over the next three months."

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