Flat retail sales in June leads to dip in orders

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High street growth flattens out during first two weeks of month.

The volume of high street sales in June so far is flat compared to a year ago, the Confederation of British Industry said this morning.

The CBI’s latest Distributive Trades Survey, which spans the period from 27 May to 15 June, reveals that 33% of retailers saw sales volumes increase on a year ago, while 34% reported a fall.

The resulting rounded balance of -2% is the first time in a year that sales have not grown and compares with +18% last month.

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The three-month moving average of sales volumes, which smoothes out monthly volatility, weakened slightly in June (+12%), compared to +18% in May.

June’s decline in sales volumes was mainly driven by weakening performance in the two largest sub-sectors of clothing and grocers’ sales.

Sales of durable household goods (-85%) and footwear & leather (-82%) fell particularly rapidly.

Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and ASDA CFO, said: “After a year of growth, high street sales volumes fizzled out in June. Consumers are really feeling the pinch as disposable incomes continue to be squeezed by rising prices and weak earnings growth.”

Orders placed by retailers upon suppliers edged down (-5%) and are expected to be flat next month.

The volume of stocks in relation to expected demand (+16%) dipped below the long-run average (+18%).

Retailer said they also expect sales to “remain flat next month”, according to the CBI.

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