UK retail sales growth eases in July, outlook weakens
The CBI's quarterly distributive trades survey found that 32% of respondents reported a rise in sales volumes in July compared to a year ago, while 12% said they were down, giving a balance of +20%. This was down from a nine-month high of +32% in June but above expectations for a drop to +15%.
The outlook for the coming month was gloomier, however, with retailers expecting sales volumes to flatten out.
CBI principal economist Alpesh Paleja said: "While the heatwave has boosted retail sales in recent months, we may be seeing some early signs of a cooling off, with orders falling in the year to July and retailers expecting no growth in sales next month.
"Indeed, the long-term challenges facing the retail sector are significant. Continually subdued real wage growth means that households are still feeling the pinch, and retailers are still grappling with deeper structural issues, such as digital disruption." ■