Furniture Sales Rise in December

Sales of furniture and carpets have risen in December, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), but at a slower rate than November.

The CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey – conducted between 29 November and 12 December  – showed that 36% of retailers questioned reported an increase in sales compared to a year ago. However, 17% of retailers saw a decrease.

The resulting balance of +19% was down on the rises seen in the previous two months (+30% and +33%), and fell below retailers’ expectations (+25%) for the period.

Sales in the furniture & carpets retail sector were up (+42%), but sales of other big-ticket items for the home (durable household goods) fell (-58%).

Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and Asda chief operating officer, said: “This latest data covers the period to the middle of December and we should take heart that sales on the high street have held up during the early crucial Christmas shopping period. However, on-going economic fragility is maintaining the squeeze on household incomes, and it’s notable that sales are below par for the festive season.”

The CBI said that sales growth is expected to fall again next month, with retailers expecting a slower rise once again in the year to January (+10%).   Source@ Cabinet Maker Website 19/12/2012

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