Christmas boost for retail sales

Holiday season high street sales are up on last year, employer’s body the CBI reported yesterday. Some 67 per cent of retailers expected higher sales than last year, with only 11 per cent preparing for a decline. The positive index score was the highest year-on-year comparison since April 2002. However, fewer retailers expect the sales boom to continue into next year, with the VAT rise – on 4 January – threatening to dampen sales of big ticket items.