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Queen's Jubilee boosts retail sales in June: CBI
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27 June 2012
LONDON (Reuters) - Retail sales rose at the fastest pace in 1-1/2 years in June as Britons splashed out for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Wednesday.
The CBI distributive trades survey's sales balance jumped to 42 versus plus21 in May, its highest since December 2010, confounding expectations for a sharp slowdown to plus10.
'The Jubilee provided a much needed boost to our high streets with many families and communities making the most of the bank holiday,' said Judith McKenna, chair of the survey panel.
Grocers recorded their strongest sales growth since February 2010. Shoe and leather retailers reported the strongest sales growth on record, the CBI said.
'However, it is notable that sales were still considered below par for the time of year. Weak consumer confidence and uncertainty over the economic outlook are still putting a break on consumer spending across the whole retail sector,' she said.
Retailers expected sales growth to slow in July with a balance of plus32.
British retailers have been struggling as cash-strapped consumers clamp down on spending.
Official data last week showed retail sales rose 1.4 percent in May, but failed to recoup a 2.4 percent drop recorded in April. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's said this week that it did not expect consumers to give a boost to UK GDP any time soon.
(Reporting by Fiona Shaikh)
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