U.K. retail sales rose at the fastest pace in 15 months in September, boosted by grocery and furniture stores, according to an index by the Confederation of British Industry.
A gauge of annual sales growth increased to 34, the highest since June 2012, from 27 in August, the London-based lobby said today. Economists had forecast a drop to 23, according to the median of nine estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Retailers expect sales to maintain their momentum next month.
“It’s encouraging to see the high street on the road to recovery,” said Barry Williams, chief merchandising officer for food at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT:US)’s Asda unit and chairman of the CBI retail panel. “But the retail sector is not out of the woods yet with consumer confidence still fragile.”
A gauge of the volume of orders placed with suppliers climbed to 14 in September from 10 in August and a measure of sales volumes for the time of year rose to 12 from 10. A three-month moving average of sales jumped to 26 from 15.
The CBI’s survey of 61 retailers was conducted between Aug. 28 and Sept. 11.
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