Sales rise in November beats forecasts

Retail sales rose this month at the fastest pace since June, according to the CBI. The reported sales balance in the monthly survey rose to positive 33 per cent in November from 30 per cent in October, beating forecasts for a reading of 18 per cent.

Anna Leach, the head of economic analysis at the CBI, said: "This month's survey is reason to be cheerful as we head into the festive period."

But retailers considered the volume of sales to be below normal for this time of year, which could set nerves jangling ahead of Christmas.