Retail Sales Fall Sharply In May

A survey by business group CBI has said UK retail sales fell at their fastest annual pace for 16 months in May.

It added that sales of clothing and footwear fell from a year previously as consumers continued to cut back on their spending. Grocery sales remained flat over the same period.

There was also some encouraging signs from the survey, with retailers expecting sales to rise “modestly” next month and businesses expecting it continue to improve over the next quarter.

The survey by CBI comes just a week after official figures revealed retail sales for the month of April were 1.3% lower than March. The ONS said bad weather was a factor for the poor figures.

Barry Williams, chair of the CBI distributive trades survey panel, said: "Retail sales growth has weakened since the start of the year as households continue to feel the pinch, with wages failing to keep pace with the cost of living.

"There is positivity from retailers this month, however, with sales expected to rise in the coming months."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

25 March 2010
UK Retail Sales Jump
Retail sales between January and February grew by 2.1%, it was revealed today. It was the most significant upward trajectory since May 2008, when sales volume leaped by 2.9%. However, the Office of National Statistics said January data has been revised down, mainly due to late returns and revisions to existing data.
21 January 2005
Christmas sales figures 'unusually low' say ONS
UK retail sales in the UK were described as "unusually low", according to the latest Retail Sales Index (RSI) figures from the Office of National Statistics. The volume of retail sales in the three months between October to December was only 0.3% higher than in the previous three months.
19 February 2004
Strong retail sales growth stokes interest rate hike
The strong surge in retail sales revealed in the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has fuelled speculation that another interest rate rise is imminent. According to the ONS figures retail sales in the UK leapt 0.6% in January, raising sales to 6.4% above that of the previous year.
04 June 2003
CBI survey reveals slowdown in retail sales
Trading conditions on UK high streets have improved but retail sales growth was modest compared with last year, according to the CBI's latest Quarterly Distributive Trades survey.
04 May 2005
CBI reports retail sales drop
The volume of retail sales has fallen in the year to April, according to the CBI’s monthly Distributive Trades Survey. The survey found that nearly half of retailers (46%) reported a drop in sales volume, compared to 32% who reported a rise in sales; a balance of -14%, compared with a figure of -9% in last month’s survey.