June retail sales mark biggest slump since 2009 financial crisis

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June retail sales
// UK retail sales slide in June at fastest pace since the 2009 financial crisis according to the CBI
// Monthly retail sales balance for June came in at -42, compared to -27 in May
// Grocers the biggest contributor to the slump, while online retail sales stalled

The British retail industry has endured fastest slowdown in monthly consumer spending since the 2009 financial crisis, according to new figures from a leading business lobby group.

The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) monthly retail sales balance for June came in at -42, a significant drop from -27 in May.

This was bellow all forecasts in a Reuters poll that had pointed to an improved reading of -10.

The CBI said the plunge is likely due to the relatively cooler weather compared with the same period last year, when a scorching start to summer mixed with the World Cup and a royal wedding fuelled spending.

The CBI data also indicates that grocers were the largest contributors to the decline in retail sales volumes throughout June.

The hardware and DIY as well as the footwear and leather sub-sectors also reported declines.

Meanwhile, overall online retail sales stalled in the year to June, marking the weakest growth since 2009 – although the CBI said this would likely pick up again in July.

“This month’s drop in sales should be taken with a pinch of salt, given the backdrop of last June’s heatwave and the start of the World Cup,” CBI principal economist Alpesh Paleja said.

“But even accounting for both factors, underlying conditions on the high street remain challenging.

“Retailers are having to continually compete for the attention of value-conscious shoppers, in the age of digital disruption.”

Industry experts have highlighted that the CBI survey this month only had a sample size of 45 retailers and was smaller than usual.

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