September 29, 2009 / 10:05 AM / 10 years ago

Retail sales show surprise gain in Sept - CBI

LONDON (Reuters) - Retail sales rose unexpectedly in September and stores were optimistic that sales would continue to grow in October, industry data showed on Tuesday. The CBI’s distributive trades survey reported sales balance rose to +3 in September from -16 in August, matching April’s high, which had been caused by a one-off sales boost from good weather and a later-than-usual Easter holiday period.

Economists had expected an improvement to -14, and the CBI said September’s figure represented a stabilisation in retail sales after four months of decline since April.

For October, retailers also expect a balance of +3. “After such a difficult summer, it is encouraging to see signs that conditions in the retail sector are stabilising,” said Andy Clarke, chief operating officer of Asda and chairman of the survey panel.

“Grocers and shoe shops are continuing to enjoy solid growth while carmakers are seeing sales volumes hold steady, thanks to the scrappage scheme.”

Reporting by Christina Fincher

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