Clothing helped drive a “healthy” growth in retail sales in the year to July 2017, the latest figures from the CBI distributive trade survey indicate.
The survey of 111 firms, of which 57 were retailers, found sales in July were slightly above seasonal norms. Almost half (48%) of retailers said that sales volumes were up in July compared with the previous year, outperforming expectations.
Internet sales volumes were up 43% and are expected to continue to grow at a similar pace.
Anna Leach, CBI head of economic intelligence, said: “The warm summer has added a sizzle to our high streets as shoppers defied expectations, with sales growth in clothing shops and grocers driving overall performance.
“But while retailers expect a similar pace of growth next month, the factors underpinning their sales growth are more shaky. Although employment is strong, real incomes are falling in the wake of higher inflation, and that’s expected to feed slower consumer spending growth ahead.”