September 26, 2012 / 10:08 AM / in 5 years

UK retail sales improve slightly in September: CBI

LONDON (Reuters) - British retail sales rose modestly in September and retailers were expecting another improvement in the coming month, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Wednesday.

The CBI distributive trades survey’s sales balance rose to +6 in September from -3. Analysts had forecast a rise to +5. The expected sales balance for October jumped to +15.

“While the squeeze on family budgets may have eased in the short-term thanks to the fall in inflation, ongoing economic fragility, reflecting uncertainty around the international outlook, could affect household spending later in the year,” said Judith McKenna, chief operating officer of Asda (WMT.N) and chairwoman of the CBI panel.

The CBI said supermarkets, shoe shops and chemists saw a strong improvement of sales, while retailers selling recreational goods as well as hardware and DIY stores continued to suffer.

British retail sales volumes rose by 0.6 percent in the three months to August, according to Office for National Statistics data published last week, and overall demand is sluggish as wage growth lags behind inflation.

Reporting by David Milliken

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