Retail sales growth accelerated in the year to April, with volumes rising faster than market predictions, the latest monthly Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Distributive Trades Survey has shown.
The survey of 112 firms, of which 57 were retailers, showed that the volume of sales grew at the fastest pace since September 2015 during the period. Orders from suppliers rose at the strongest rate for a year and a half.
Overall, sales for the time of year are considered to be slightly above seasonal norms.
The CBI survey found that volume growth is expected to slow next month, with sales settling at broadly average for the time of year.
It flagged clothing and grocery sales as particularly strong for the year to April.
“The warm weather in early April might go some way to explaining the uptick, with sales by clothing shops and grocers driving overall growth,” said Ben Jones, CBI principal economist.
“However, retailers are still cautious over the outlook, expecting slower growth over the year to May, as higher inflation eats into household spending. With price competition remaining fierce and rising costs squeezing margins, retailers face mounting pressures in the months ahead.”