UK retailers expect sales volume to grow in December as festive season begins, the Distributive Trades survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed Monday.
The retail sales balance rose to -3 percent in November, the highest in seven months and above the expected level of -11 percent.
A net balance of +21 percent forecasts sales to increase in the year to December.
Within the retail sector, grocers made the greatest positive contribution to the headline figure in November, with negative contributions coming primarily from non-specialized stores, but also clothing and non-store retail.
"Retailers are entering the festive season with a bit of hope that sales will head up, with the strongest expectations in half a year," Anna Leach, CBI deputy chief economist said.
"As the election period gets into full swing, retailers will welcome the prominence being given to fixing the broken business rates system," Leach said. "But it will be up to the next Government to turn warm words into action."