UK May Retail Sales Growth Rises to Four-Month High – CBI

British retail sales growth picked up modestly earlier this month after a sluggish start to the year, figures from the Confederation of British Industry showed on Wednesday.

The CBI distributive trades survey’s retail sales balance rose to +11 in May from April’s reading of -2, its highest level since January.

Britain’s economy grew at its slowest annual rate in five years in the first three months of 2018, in part due to unusually snowy weather which threw the Bank of England off course from a widely expected rate rise.

“A cold start to the year has added to the woes of retailers already facing the twin burdens of higher cost inflation and squeezed household incomes. So it’s good to see some modest growth returning to the high street,” CBI economist Anna Leach said.

Official data earlier on Wednesday showed consumer price inflation dropped to a one-year low of 2.4 percent, but the CBI said household incomes remained squeezed and businesses were trying to address cost pressures by using staff more efficiently.

Employment in the sector fell for the sixth quarter in a row – albeit at a slower pace than before – and retailers said they expected to cut investment over the coming year.

The CBI’s quarterly retail business conditions index fell to its lowest since August.


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Photo : Business Pundit


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