The first monthly retail sales report for June is out and it doesn’t look good. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has released its regular report and said that retail sales volumes fell slightly in the year to June. This was the third successive month in which volumes have failed to grow.
And retailers expect sales volumes to be flat over the year to July too.
So what exactly happened this month? Retailers said their sales volumes slipped in the year to June for a balance of -5%, from -1% in May. And expectations are -2% for July.
In general, sales were seen as poor for the time of year and that’s also set to be the view for July.
Retailers also saw stock levels in relation to expected sales as “too high” in June (+12%, from +11% in May, though still below the long-term average of +17%) and that same +12% is expected next month.
Meanwhile, orders placed with suppliers fell in the year to June (-8%), a fourth consecutive month of flat or falling orders, with a further decline expected over the year to July (-10%).
For the survey, the CBI spoke to 100 companies, including 39 retailers.
Ben Jones, its Lead Economist, said: “Retail volumes are struggling as high inflation eats away at consumers’ budgets. The squeeze on household incomes appears to have offset any boost to activity from the extended Platinum Jubilee bank holiday earlier this month.
“There are also clearer signs that a downturn in consumer spending is beginning to ripple out across the wider distribution sector, with wholesalers seeing a 14-month period of robust sales growth come to a grinding halt this month.
“As business sentiment weakens, government action is needed urgently to prevent a deeper and more prolonged downturn. Creating a permanent investment incentive and tackling skills shortages by introducing immediate flexibility to the apprenticeship levy would be strong first steps for boosting confidence.”