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U.K. Retail Sales Index Increases to Five-Month High, CBI Says

An index of U.K. retail sales rose to a five-month high in November, according to a monthly report from the Confederation of British Industry.

The gauge of annual sales growth increased to 33 from 30 in October, the London-based business lobby said today. Still, sales remain below average for the time of year, while a quarterly measure of selling prices fell to a three-year low.

Household spending rose the most in more than two years in the third quarter, boosted by one-time factors such as the London Olympics. The gain may prove shortlived amid subdued wage growth and the economic headwinds from the turmoil in Europe. Bank of England Deputy Governor Charlie Bean said in an interview published yesterday that policy makers haven’t ruled out more bond purchases to boost the recovery.

The CBI’s measure of expected sales for December was 25, indicating stores expect growth to slow next month, according to the report. A measure of three-month sales volumes rose to 23 in November from 11 in October.

A quarterly gauge of selling prices fell to 25 in November from 31 in August. A measure of retailers’ outlook for the business situation in the coming three months rose to 7, the highest since November 2010.

The survey of 76 retailers was conducted between Oct. 30 and Nov. 16.

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