CBI: high street retail sales growth slows

High street sales growth slowed markedly in the year to June, although the pace is expected to pick up next month, according to the latest monthly CBI Distributive Trades Survey.

CBI: high street retail sales growth slows

A survey of 133 firms showed that although sales growth in June disappointed retailers’ expectations, sales rose above average for the time of year.

Sales volumes grew in footwear & leather (+100%), furniture & carpets (+41%), grocers (+25%), and hardware & DIY (+22%). Sales volumes decreased in department stores (-64%), chemists (-25%), recreational goods (-25%) and clothing (-17%). Internet sales volumes in the retail sector rose solidly (+39%) but remained below the long-run average (+52%) for a second consecutive month.

Other findings include: 29% of retailers said that sales volumes were up in June on a year ago, whilst 24% said they were down, giving a rounded balance of +4%; 27% of retailers expect sales volumes to increase over the next month, with 10% expecting them to decrease, giving a rounded balance of +17%; 26% of retailers placed more orders with suppliers than they did a year ago, and 19% placed fewer, giving a balance of +7%; 19% of retailers said that their total retail sales volumes were above average for the time of year, whilst 11% said they were below average, giving a balance of +8%.

Barry Williams, chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey Panel, said: “After a recent improved run for the High Street, a fall in clothing and food sales has contributed to a disappointing month. Whilst it seems that hopes that retail spending would be boosted by a strong performance by England at the World Cup were as over-ambitious as aspirations for a good performance, I’m reassured that consumer confidence is still on the up, as household budgets are being bolstered by falling inflation. However, whilst discretionary income is still on the rise, slow wage growth continues to weigh on how much consumers are willing to go out and spend.”

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