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Retail Sales Collapse In June

Just when many analysts had come to terms with the 3.5% rise in retail sales in May and the fact this did not seem correct, June has seen a fall of 3.9% in sales - the worst fall in 22 years. The move has more than wiped out May's surprise jump and brings the annual growth rate down to 2.2%. So what is happening?

While it would be foolish to sound the alarm bells after one month's figures, the fall of 3.9% was far greater than the consensus forecast for a 2.5% fall, there is concern that confidence in the retail sector is evaporating.

Non-food sales fell by a massive 4.5% but it was the drop is food sales, down 3.6% in June, which has really caught the eye. This is the surest sign yet that the UK consumer is cutting back and does not bode well for the retail sector as a whole. Business has been very difficult on the high street for some time but with the food sector now being dragged into the frame we could be in for a very difficult 12 months.

The next few months could well see a number of high profile casualties on the high street with many well known stores rumoured to be struggling at the moment.

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