The latest CBI Monthly Distributive Trades Survey revealed that retail sales fell in the month leading to October, however it foresees a slight increase in the coming month.
The organisation reported that 24 per cent of companies saw sales volumes rise compared to a year ago, while 36 per cent reported a fall, giving a rounded balance of -11 per cent. The volume of sales was poor for the time of year (-34 per cent), and was the lowest since May 2009 (-36 per cent).
Next month, sales volumes are expected to increase by four per cent. CBI chief economic adviser Ian McCafferty said: “High street sales remain difficult but the decline has stabilised, and retailers expect there to be some very modest growth next month in the build-up to Christmas.”
The volume of orders placed with suppliers was broadly flat year-on-year (one per cent), following a fall last month (-16 per cent). The volume of stocks in relation to expected demand was stable (15 per cent) and is expected to be broadly the same next month (12 per cent).
Among wholesalers, 37 per cent saw sales volumes increase, while 28 per cent reported a decrease, giving a rounded balance of 10 per cent, with minus two per cent expected in November.