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Economic News

Downturn in UK retail sector deepens in December - CBI

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Thursday 21 Dec 2023

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - The downturn in the UK retail sector deepened in December following a disappointing festive period, according to a survey released on Thursday.
The latest Distributive Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed that the retail sales balance fell to -32 from -11 in the year to November. This marked the eighth consecutive monthly decline.

The balance for expected sales for the next month also declined, to -41 in December from -6 the month before.

CBI principal economist Martin Sartorius said: "The retail sector ended 2023 on a glum note, with the ongoing downturn in sales volumes deepening during the crucial holiday trading period. Looking ahead, retailers are bracing themselves for a New Year's chill, as sales are set to fall at an even quicker pace next month.

"Strained household finances and higher interest rates continue to take a toll on consumer spending, suggesting that retailers will have to navigate a tough demand environment in the months to come. In this context, a hike in business rates for many retailers, alongside a rise in the National Living Wage, will heap more pressure on the sector in the new year."

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