LONDON (Reuters) – British retail sales plunged this month at the fastest annual pace in 10 years, in part reflecting a surge in sales in June last year which were spurred by hot weather and the men’s soccer World Cup, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The Confederation of British Industry’s monthly retail sales balance fell to -42 from -27 in May, below all forecasts in a Reuters poll that had pointed to an improved reading of -10.
“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 economist Alpesh Paleja said.
“But even accounting for both factors, underlying conditions on the High Street remain challenging.”
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by William Schomberg)