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According to the CBI survey of 131 firms, of which 58 were retailers, showed that the volume of sales grew modestly over the year, beating expectations for a further fall this month. However, sales volumes look set to be broadly flat over the next month.
Investment intentions for the year ahead turned positive following the most negative results since 2013 in the previous quarter. Year-on-year employment was again flat in the year to August, although retailers expect a small cut in headcount in September.
Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Analysis and Surveys, said:
"The summer weather has brought shoppers out onto the high street with retailers reporting that sales growth has risen, outdoing expectations, although firms do expect sales growth to ease next month.
"While the fall in Sterling has boosted visitor numbers to the UK, it is likely to push up the price of imported goods over time which will mean households will be more likely to rein back spending on non-essentials."