November retail sales down on 2004, says IMA

Net Isa sales increased for the second consecutive month, up 21% in November to £45.3m, following the first ever net outflow in September. But net Isa sales were still substantially lower than in November 2003, when they reached £200m. Tied agents sold the most Isas last month with 43% of all gross sales.

Deputy chief executive of the IMA Sheila Nicoll says that although sales of Isas remained stable in November, it remains unclear whether the tax wrapper will win back its previous popularity. She hopes the recent Treasury announcement that current Isa limits will continue until 2009 will remove some of the previous uncertainty.

Meanwhile, total net sales, including those to institutions, fell to £562m in November, down 38% compared with October’s figures. However, these were significantly higher than the November 2003 figure of £20.6m.

The UK Equity Income sector was the best-selling sector in terms of net retail sales for the sixth consecutive month. Last month the Global Growth sector became the worst-selling sector for the first time since November 2003.

The UK All Companies sector continued to be the most popular sector in terms of gross retail sales, with 24%. UK Equity Income was the second most popular with 13%, followed by UK Corporate Bond with 11% of sales.

Intermediaries were the most popular distribution channel in November, with 73% of gross retail sales.