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Retailers at their most confident since 1988

Confidence is booming among shopkeepers, with the proportion of companies expecting sales to grow next month at its highest level since 1988. Buoyed by low inflation and strengthening wage growth, respondents to a CBI survey reported that shoppers returned to the high street in force in May. Some 60% of retailers said sales volumes were up on a year ago, with 9% saying they were down, giving a balance of 51%, a sharp rise from 12% in April. A balance of 58% of retailers expect sales volumes to grow again in June, the highest mark in the survey for almost 27 years. Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, hailed a 'really cracking survey', adding that it looked 'increasingly likely that robust consumer spending will help the UK economy regain momentum in the second quarter'.

 

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