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UK retail sales improve in November but outlook darkens - CBI

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UK retail sales improve in November but outlook darkens - CBI

UK retail sales improve in November but outlook darkens - CBI
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Neil Hall(Reuters)
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LONDON, (Reuters) - British retail sales perked up in November by more than expected, but stores' confidence for the coming months deteriorated ahead of Brexit, an industry survey showed on Tuesday.

The Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) monthly retail sales balance rose to +19 from +5 in October. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a reading of +10.

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The survey was conducted before last week's Black Friday promotions. While November's pick-up was stronger than expected, other parts of the survey were less promising.

Business expectations for the next three months cooled to their lowest level since May 2017, according to quarterly questions in Tuesday's survey.

"While it is encouraging to see headline retail sales growth strengthen in November after a weak outturn in October, the quarterly survey continues to paint a gloomy picture of the sector," CBI economist Anna Leach said.

"Business sentiment remains poor, investment intentions are flat, and headcount continues to decline."

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken; andy.bruce@thomsonreuters.com; +442075423484; Reuters Messaging: andy.bruce.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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