UK retail sales plummet in September, etail also continues to suffer - CBI
Retail sales volumes fell at a “considerable rate” in September after posting strong growth in August. What’s more the decline in sales is expected to continue next month too, albeit at a slower pace, according to the new Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) Distributive Sales Survey.
That “brisk” September volumes drop came with a -20% reading compared to +37% in August. And the slower pace for October is expected to measure -13%.
E-commerce sales volumes also suffered, registering another month of decline and at the fastest pace for the eighth consecutive month (-19% compared to -7% in August). And retailers don’t see the trend changing next month, although the rate of decline is also expected to ease slightly to -14%, the body said.
As a result, overall sales were considered “mildly disappointing for the time of year” (-7% from +3% in August and that outlook for the retail sector “suggests there is little prospect of improvement next month” with seasonal sales expected to remain “slightly poor” (-4%).
Retailers’ stocks relative to expected sales eased this month but remained “too high”, it added. Meanwhile, orders placed with suppliers in the year to September “declined at the fastest rate since March 2021”, and October orders will be broadly unchanged from September.
Elsewhere in the distribution sector, wholesalers reported sales volumes falling in the year to September (-21% from -1% in August), with a similar rate of decline expected next month. Like retailers, wholesale stock positions were reported as “too high” since February 2008.
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