November retail sales balance highest since June - CBI

LONDON Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:06am GMT

Shoppers walk through fake snow on Oxford Street during a traffic-free pre-Christmas shopping day in central London November 24, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Shoppers walk through fake snow on Oxford Street during a traffic-free pre-Christmas shopping day in central London November 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Olivia Harris

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LONDON (Reuters) - British retail sales rose at the fastest pace since June this month, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Thursday.

The reported sales balance in the CBI's monthly distributive trades survey rose to +33 in November from +30 in October, beating economists' forecasts for a reading of +18.

However, the expected sales balance for December dipped to +25.

The CBI's quarterly survey showed that business situation balance jumped to +7, the highest reading in two years.

"This month's survey is reason to be cheerful as we head into the festive period," said Anna Leach, head of economic analysis at the business lobby.

"The increase in employment, along with expectations for improvement in the business situation over the next quarter, point to a welcome boost to the sector.

"But the fact that retailers are still reluctant to authorise new capital expenditure shows that there is some way to go before activity on the high street us back to normal," she added.

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths, writing by Olesya Dmitracova)

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