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[LONDON] British retail sales growth eased in June from a five-month high reached during the previous month, although it remained above average for the time of year, an industry survey showed on Thursday.
The Confederation of British Industry's retail sales balance fell to +29 in June from +51 in May, with the slowdown driven mostly by the grocery sector.
The measure of expected sales for the month ahead also eased after hitting a more than 26-year high in last month's survey, though on a three-month moving average it rose to a new high. "Summer is a time of optimism for retailers and this year is no different. Even though growth slowed slightly this month, retailers are not letting that subdue their hopes for the season," said Barry Williams, a senior executive at Wal-Mart's Asda unit and chairman of the CBI survey.
Official data last week showed British retail sales growth slowed sharply last month after strong growth in April, as shoppers bought fewer clothes.