Retail sales steadier after gloomy figures
Tuesday 27 March 2012
Sales on the high street are stabilising, the CBI said today, but retailers still expect conditions to remain subdued.
The same number of retailers reported a fall and rise in sales in the first two weeks of March, according to the CBI's latest survey, following an overall decline in February.
The survey comes after official figures revealed a gloomier-than-expected picture of the retail sector, with retail sales falling in February and growing by less than previously thought in January.
Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI distributive trades panel and chief operating officer at supermarket Asda, said: "The general retail outlook remains tough and firms expect volumes of sales and orders to fall next month.
"The squeeze on people's pockets continues to bite, despite a recent fall in inflation, with wage growth modest and fuel costs remaining high."
The CBI said the majority of retailers said sales were low for the time of year and that over the next month they expect both volume of sales and the volume of orders on suppliers to remain subdued.
Relative to demand, stock levels rose sharply last month, but are expected to be run down slightly next month, the CBI said.
Furniture and carpets saw an improvement for the second consecutive month, while the majority of grocers saw an increase in sales continuing the trend of healthier figures since December last year.
Motor traders saw their first increase in sales since December 2010, the CBI said, and expectations were that this will continue in the next month.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at financial services information provider Markit, said the survey "revealed a picture of stagnation rather than growth".
He added: "The data suggest that shoppers remain very reluctant to spend in general, worrying about job security, rising unemployment, high petrol prices and low wage growth."
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Hacking Trial: Rebekah Brooks, Raisa and a new twist in the saga of a horse fit for a Prime Minister
Israel-Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll now exceeds 500 – but Israel fights on
Income tax league: Revealed - the UK towns where people pay the most and least tax
Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Blogger captures footage ‘showing BUK missile launcher that shot down jet’ now back in Russia
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
iJobs Money & Business
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£250 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Finance Manager - Accountant - Bank...
£100000 - £120000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fi...