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UK Retailers Plan To Raise Investment: CBI

British retailers plan to raise their investment in the year ahead for the first time in two years, the latest quarterly Distributive Trends Survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed Tuesday.

The balance for investment intentions rose to +26 percent from -38 percent in November, which was the biggest swing since the survey began in 1983. At the same time, the business optimism balance was unchanged at 4 percent.

A net 1 percent of retailers reported a rise in sales volume in the year to January and a balance of -3 percent forecasts fall in sales in the year to March.

Sales were seen as poor for the time of year in February as the balance came in at -14 percent.

The prospects for a recovery in investment in the retail sector are on the up, Ben Jones, CBI principal economist, said. This is particularly the case among large retailers, driven by shifts online and the trend for re-purposing retail space.

“Overall, underlying momentum in the UK economy remains subdued at the start of 2020, but we continue to expect a mild improvement over the course of the year,” Jones added.

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