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CBI survey casts doubt on retail market recovery

A report by the CBI has been issued today with a suggestion that retail sales are on the whole down over the last year. The monthly sales balance survey showed a figure of -18 with 48% of those surveyed reporting a decrease in sales over last year with just 30% showing an increase, with a net figure of -18. So what does this mean?

When you consider that retailers in general were looking at a figure of +17 and economists were looking for a figure of +12 it is difficult to see any positive news from this survey. It would seem to indicate that the UK consumer is looking to tighten their belt and this could have a significant impact on the ongoing UK economic recovery. It seems that the hardest hit sectors are chemists and DIY although the clothing industry seems to be in a downward spiral.

Over the last few months analysts have been able to identify specific issues which may have led to disappointing retail surveys but unfortunately this excuse is now starting to wear thin. The truth is that the UK retail market is struggling to pull away from the recession, forcing more and more competition which is placing more and more pressure on balance sheets.

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