Retail sales seem to be performing better than anyone expected or predicted. Does this mean the recession is over?
Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose has reported a slowing in decline of sales and he believes the recession is bottoming out. At the same time the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has published figures showing the retail sector was beginning to 'stabilise', with sales flat year on year and the majority of retailers stating that sales volumes were higher than last September.
This latest survey from the CBI shows that sales were up 3% in September, the first positive reading for five months.
This comes after a difficult summer for many and raises hopes that the feared double dip recession may not happen. It also comes at a critical moment for the pound, which seemed to be tumbling toward parity with the euro yet again. This news has had a positive effect saving the pound from falling further and deflecting fears of deflation.
In Brighton, traders have weathered the storm admirably but have been wary that things could get worse in the Autumn.
It is still too soon to be sure we are out of the woods particularly as we move into the most critical trading period for retailers. The next three months could make or break many of them and now is the time to pull out all the stops.
Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
Marks & Spencer