Summer sales data to reveal retail outlook

RETAILERS are set to provide fresh evidence of consumer confidence this week in a series of market updates.<br /><br />In a bid to revive the ailing retail sector the West End is launching High Street Fashion Week today in an effort to attract a predicted 2.4m shoppers to Oxford Street. <br /><br />ABF Foods, Primark&rsquo;s owner, will today post interim results detailing whether shoppers are still being lured by its cheap fashion offers. <br /><br />Chocolatier Thorntons will on Wednesday reveal its full year results, with many analysts warning that it is unlikely to fully recoup the drop in profits it suffered in the first six months of its financial year after significantly higher promotional discounts.<br /><br />House of Fraser will also on Wednesday report its interims, which will be looked at as a bellwether for middle England confidence. <br /><br />Supermarket Wm Morrison is&nbsp; expected to reveal a strong set of interim results on Thursday. An unexpected pre-close trading update in mid-July stated that the full year outcome was expected to be materially ahead of prior expectations, resulting in forecast upgrades.<br /><br />Home Retail Group is forecast to report a 1.6 per cent like-for-like sales drop on Thursday at Argos, with Homebase predicted to post a 2.5 per cent drop, a slight improvement on its last update.<br /><br />And the suffering electrical sector will also see some light as Comet owner Kesa Electricals is expected to show it is continuing to outstrip its rivals.