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More positive signals from the UK retail sector

Today saw Poundland, House of Fraser and the Co-op joined the growing band of retailers reporting better-than-expected figures over the festive period. Slowly but surely we are seeing the formation of a base in UK retail sector even if the likes of Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury, has suggested that the worst is yet to come. So what is happening in the UK retail sector?

Just prior to Christmas there was hope that retail sales would be better-than-expected although as the vital period approached a number of analysts turned down beat on the sector. However, aside from Marks & Spencer where the figures were a little disappointing, the vast majority of UK retailers have reported strong trading over the festive period and indeed we have started the New Year on a more upbeat tempo.

The UK retail sector is vital to the recovery of the UK economy because it is the barometer of consumer confidence and disposable income. Even though there will be an impact upon retail spending after VAT returned to 17.5% there is a feeling that many consumers are turning more positive on the UK economy. However, this new-found optimism needs to continue well into 2010 if we are to see any real recovery in the UK.

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