Shropshire business leaders today welcomed news that retail sales grew strongly in the year to January, slightly exceeding expectations.
The CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey showed that whilst sales volumes grew at a slower pace than in the previous month – which benefited from bumper Black Friday sales – the rate of growth remained healthy, and volumes were well above average for the time of year. Firm growth is anticipated again in the year to February.
Among the retail sub-sectors, growth was generally broad-based. Clothing reported the strongest rise in sales since February 2013, and robust growth was also seen from grocers, furniture & carpets retailers and other normal goods, such as jewellery and second-hand goods.
John Pitchford, Head of Corporate Banking for Barclays in Shropshire, said: “After the flurry of targeted discounting throughout December, it’s good to see that sales growth is continuing into the new year with an encouraging performance in the first two weeks of January.
“Falling prices, particularly across food and petrol, will continue to play a role in boosting consumer confidence in the months ahead, but retailers across all sectors will need to focus on their value for money propositions in order to deliver low single digit growth in 2015.”