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Retailers optimistic for September

As we approach the end of the month, and await retail sales figures for September, a report by the CBI would seem to suggest that on balance 39% of UK retailers expect sales to be higher rather than lower over the next three months. When you consider recent figures from the CBI survey as well as the economic backdrop and recent comment in the financial press, a net figure of 39% is a very strong signal to investors.

However, at this moment in time it is unclear whether a number of consumers and businesses will be spending money ahead of the VAT rise in January therefore leading to an increase in spending before the end of the year and a potentially dramatic slump afterwards. The proof will be in the pudding although unfortunately we may have to wait up to 4 months to find out exactly what the future holds for the UK retail sector.

The retail sector is one of the key areas of the UK economy which will need to improve if the UK as a whole continues to grow in 2011. Despite the fact that economic growth in the second quarter of 2010 was well over 1%, and the figure for the first quarter was upgraded, there are still grave concerns about the medium term impact of austerity measures yet to kick in from the UK government.

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