Strong February Sales Enjoyed by Retailer Across UK

Strong February Sales Enjoyed by Retailer Across UKToday, investors gladly welcomed some "rare good news" as the distributive trades survey undertaken by the CBI hiked to hit its highest level in nearly 3 long years.

The number of retailers who had reported an increase in sales managed to jump to +23 year-on-year for the month of February, which is the highest level recorded in 33 months, and a substantial rise from the figure of -8% recorded for January.

Economists had expected a reading of a mere -1%.

"Following a recent series of worrying economic data and surveys including the news that business investment fell sharply in the fourth quarter of 2009, the February CBI distributive trades survey offers some very welcome respite. The survey indicates that retail sales bounced back appreciably in February after being hit hard in January by the very bad weather", said Howard Archer, Chief UK Economist at IHS Global Insight.

Sales prospects for the near-term have also emerged as positive, with a balance of +16% retailers expecting sales to rise on a year-on-year basis for March. Clothing and grocers were among the best performers.