LONDON – British retail sales volumes slid over the last month at the fastest rate since April last year, underlining the weak state of the consumer economy in the face of strong inflation, a survey showed on Thursday.
The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) sales balance, which included a couple of days of the Christmas trading period, fell to -23 from +11 in December’s report, meaning more store chains reported a drop in retail sales than a rise.
The survey pointed to another drop in retail sales next month.
“Retailers began the new year with a return to falling sales volumes, as the sector continues to face the twin headwinds of rising costs and squeezed household incomes,” CBI Martin Sartorius said.
The survey of 59 retailers – mostly large store chains – was conducted between Dec. 22 and Jan. 13.