Retail sales suffered another ‘steep drop’ in June, new figures reveal.
The latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey by the CBI revealed that retail sales sank by 37 per cent in the year to June.
However, the survey, which was conducted between May 27 and June 12, revealed a slightly slower pace of decline than the previous month, after sales fell by 50 per cent in the year to May.
Nevertheless, retailers said they expect sales volumes to fall at a slightly faster pace in the year to July, following the reopening of non-essential retailers.
The survey revealed an ‘extremely negative’ forecast from retailers which have been able to reopen from June 15, with the vast majority of respondents expecting sales to be lower compared with July 2019.
The new figures contrast with data published by GfK and its consumer confidence survey last week.
In the survey it found that consumer confidence has rebounded slightly from near-record levels – up six points to minus 30 in the June measurement.
But, like the figures from the CBI, the confidence survey did warn that pent-up demand in all sectors – including cars – was short-lived and warned of a ‘dead car bounce’.
Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the CBI, said: ‘With high street shops, department stores and shopping centres reopening across England last week amid some scenes of long queues, you’d be forgiven for thinking retailers’ difficulties are coming to an end.
‘But the health of the retail sector remains in the balance.
‘Despite retailers working flat out to make sure they are safe and ready to open their doors, outside the grocery sector most retailers expect sales to be far below where they were this time last year.’
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