The high street is upbeat about Christmas after sales growth picked up this month, according to a new study. More than half of retailers said sales volumes rose year-on-year in November, while just 13% said that they fell, according to the distributive trades survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The 43% balance of traders reporting an improvement beat forecasts in the wake of October's 36% figure and came close to September's six-year high of 49%. A similar balance of retailers – 45% - thought sales would also rise in December, representing a sixth consecutive month of growth. However, concerns remain over the longer term given fragile consumer confidence, high inflation eating into incomes and the upcoming VAT rise. And some economists warned that the CBI survey has tended to be healthier than official sales data in recent months.