By Daniel Hunter
The growth of retail sales picked up pace in July, according to business lobby group the CBI.
However, sales are expected to fall away in the coming months.
The survey of 117 firms showed that year-on-year growth in the volume of retail sales fell back slightly from June, after May’s strong rally. Growth is expected to slow further next month, but sales volumes are broadly average for the time of year and are expected to remain so in August.
Orders placed on suppliers grew at a slightly quicker pace than in the previous month, but are expected to slow significantly in August.
Among the retail sub-sectors, grocers and department stores saw flat sales volumes, and footwear and leather goods sales volumes fell. Clothing sales volumes rose strongly, at their fastest rate since January.
Internet sales volumes remained in line with the previous month’s rate of growth, and are expected to rise at a stronger pace into August.
Sales volumes in the wholesaling sector rose strongly in the year to July, exceeding expectations and with further strong growth expected next month. Motor trades sales volumes continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace than in June.
Barry Williams, CBI Distributive Trades Chairman and Asda’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “Summer trading is traditionally slower across the retail sector but warm weather can often provide a welcome boost, as we saw towards the end of June and the beginning of this month.
“Despite the upbeat outlook for the UK economy, retailers are still finding conditions challenging and it’s certainly something every shopkeeper will need to keep an eye on.
“Meanwhile, the recovery in wage growth should help support growth further down the line.”