Jan 30, 2015
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UK retail sales growth slows less than expected in January

Jan 30, 2015

British retail sales growth slowed by less than expected in January, helped by the biggest rise in clothing sales in almost two years, an industry survey showed on Thursday.

The Confederation of British Industry's distributive trades survey's retail sales balance fell to +39 from December's 27-year high of +61 that was fuelled by a "Black Friday" shopping frenzy.

Photo: Confederation of British Industry - Confederation of British Industry

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a steeper slowdown this month to +30.

"After the sales bonanza of Black Friday cooled down, retailers saw solid footfall through the doors over the Christmas trading period, leading to further robust growth in sales in the New Year," said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI director of economics.

"Falling oil prices and low inflation mean consumers have a bit more money in their pockets. We expect to see this translate into strong sales growth in the months ahead."

The CBI said growth in retail was broad-based, with clothing sales rising at the fastest rate since February 2013.

Official data last week showed retail sales unexpectedly rose in December as shoppers flocked to supermarkets and bought more fuel on the back of falling oil prices.

The retail sector accounts for nearly 6 percent of the British economy.

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