By Michael Millar
Date: Wednesday 27 Jun 2012
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend pushed retail sales up sharply in June, according to new figures.
The CBI’s latest Distributive Trades Survey, covering the first two weeks in June, showed 58% of retailers reported that sales volumes were up on a year ago, while 17% said sales had fallen.
The result was much stronger than retailers had expected and was the most optimistic businesses had been since December 2010.
Most retailers also expect strong increases in both sales and order volumes in the year to July.
Judith McKenna, Chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and Asda Chief Operating Officer, said the Jubilee provided a much-needed boost to high streets with many families and communities making the most of the Bank Holiday and coming together to celebrate.
“However, it is notable that sales were still considered to be below par for the time of year.," she said.
"Weak consumer confidence and uncertainty over the economic outlook are still putting a brake on consumer spending across the whole retail sector.”
Blerina Uruci at Barclays Capital pointed out that while sales of grocers, clothing and furniture grew strongly during the month, hardware, chemists and specialist food & drink shops reported falling sales.
"Looking ahead we think that this is likely to be a one-off increase that does not change the underlying weakness in the sector and we would expect a sharp reversal in the CBI balance next month," she warned.
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