UK retail sales rise strongly, CBI survey finds Sales volumes since February last year have beaten expectations, the CBI said Sales in UK High Street shops have grown strongly since last February, rising at their fastest pace since June 2012, according to a CBI survey. The volume of sales easily beat expectations, the business lobbying group said. Just under half of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey respondents reported sales volumes up on a year ago, while 8% said sales were down. Grocers, clothing, and furniture and carpet retailers had strong sales. A year-on-year dip in employment has not dented retailer optimism, with sales volumes expected to grow next month. High Street sales had not been overly affected by extreme UK weather and widespread flooding, said Barry Williams, Asda chief food merchandising officer and CBI Distributive Trades Survey chair. "Overall sales have been remarkably resilient in the face of disruption from the exceptional weather across the UK, which has badly affected many families and businesses," said Mr Williams. About 120 firms took part in the survey.