After a tough winter, UK retailers are hoping for a pick-up in sales next month.
The CBI’s monthly gauge of the retail sector, just released, shows that retailers have the first positive sales expectations since last September.
Its expected sales balance increased to +9 for April, up from -18 in March. That ends a run of negative sales expectations since last October.
Sales in March were reported roughly flat at +1, little changed from February’s reading of +2, as the cost of living squeeze continues to hit consumer spending.
CBI principal economist Martin Sartorius says it is “encouraging” that activity in the retail sector seems to be stabilising, after “a challenging winter”, adding:
“This resilience has helped inspire some spring shoots of optimism, with firms expecting an increase in sales for the first time since last September.”