Retail sales continued to fall in the year to July, albeit it at a more modest pace, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to take its toll, according to a survey released on Tuesday by the Confederation of British Industry.
The CBI’s retail sales balance came in at -4 compared to -5 in June, while the balance of expectations for July declined to -14 from -2 the month before – the lowest level since March 2021.
CBI principal economist Martin Sartorius: “Retail activity continues to take a hit as consumers struggle to cope with the effects of the cost-of-living crisis.
“For wholesalers, high inflation and weakening economic momentum has meant that sales volumes have now fallen following a solid period of growth stretching back to March 2021.
“The Government needs to act to inspire business confidence and stimulate growth. Fundamentally reforming both business rates and the apprenticeship levy are crucial starting points to encourage investment, which will play a key role in improving living standards in the long-term.”