UK retail sales rose minus those reporting drop fell to 4% from 7%: CBI
British retail sales slowed in the run-up to the EU referendum, an industry survey has shown.
A balance of UK retailers saying sales rose minus those who reported falling sales fell to 4% in June, down from 7% in May, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s latest snapshot of the retail sector (pdf). The survey was conducted between 26 May and 14 June – before the UK’s shock vote to leave the EU.
Grocers, furniture and carpet shops, along with hardware and DIY stores, reported a pickup in sales in the year to June. But growth slowed at clothing retailers and sales fell at department stores, specialist food and drink retailers, and shops selling durable household goods such as cookers and washing machines.
Retailers were expecting sales to improve in July, with the balance improving to -10% from -5% in June, while orders were expected to continue falling.
The CBI said: “Retail sales reported weak growth in the year to June, beating expectations of a modest fall and lifting sales slightly above average for the time of year.”
Orders placed on suppliers fell in June, albeit at a slower pace than in the previous month.
Growth in the volume of internet sales slowed in the year to June, with the survey balance falling below the long-run average. However, internet sales growth was expected to pick up strongly in July.
Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said the survey suggested “consumers were relatively cautious in their spending in the run-up to the EU referendum, but did not completely keep their hands in their pockets”.