Year on year retail sales volumes are up for the first time in seven months, but sales are considered poor for the time of year, finds the Confederation of British Industry's monthly Distributive Trades Survey.
Year-on-year retail sales volumes are up for the first time in seven months, but sales are considered poor for the time of year, finds the Confederation of British Industry's monthly Distributive Trades Survey.
Some 41 per cent of the 136 companies surveyed say sales rose on a year ago in December while 32 per cent report a fall, giving a balance of +9 per cent. This is the first year-on-year sales growth since May (+18 per cent).
However, volumes of sales are poor for the time of year, with a balance of -16 per cent well below the long-term average. The three month moving average, which smooths out monthly peaks and troughs, is negative for the fifth month running (-7 per cent) and is expected to remain so in January.
Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel says, ‘Early discounting helped retailers add a little extra sparkle to their sales in December, although the reprieve appears to only be temporary as they don’t expect sales to continue to grow into January.
‘Consumers are continuing to hold off on purchasing big ticket items, including durable household goods, preferring to use their hard-earned cash to stock up for Christmas dinner and all-important gifts for the family.’
The volume of orders placed on suppliers was broadly flat (-4 per cent) on a year ago in December, having fallen fast in November (-24 per cent).
Among wholesalers, a balance of +42 per cent saw sales volumes rise. Sales are expected to be broadly flat in January (-2 per cent).
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