UK Retail Sales Volumes Fall At Faster Pace In January – CBI Survey
UK retail sales volumes dropped at a faster-than-expected pace at the start of the year, and retailers expect them to decline again next month, but at a slightly slower rate, survey data from the Confederation of British Industry, or CBI, showed Thursday.
The sales balance decreased to -23 from +11 in December, results of the Distributive Trades Survey of the CBI showed. Economists had expected a balance of -5.
Around 15 percent of surveyed retailers are expected to report a drop in sales next month, the survey showed.
“Retailers began the new year with a return to falling sales volumes, as the sector continues to face the twin headwinds of rising costs and squeezed household incomes,” Martin Sartorius, principal economist at the CBI, said.
The survey also found that internet sales volumes shrunk in the year to January, but at a significantly slower pace than in December. Online sales are expected to grow in February, which will be the first month with growth expectations since December 2021.
Read more: UK Inflation At 3-Month Low
Automotive sales decreased at a faster pace in January, but the pace of decline is expected to slow next month.
A survey by the market research group GfK showed last week that Britons turned more pessimistic at the start of this year as the rising cost of living and the slowing economy hurt their purchasing power.
The GfK consumer confidence index unexpectedly fell to -45.0 in January from -42 in December.
With inflation continuing to swallow up pay rises, and the prospect of some shocking energy bills landing soon, the forecast for consumer confidence this year is not looking good, GfK’s client strategy director Joe Staton, had said.
Data from the Office for National Statistics had revealed that retail sales dropped for a second straight month in December, mainly led by a slump in non-food sales as consumers cut back on discretionary spending.
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