Six-month lowest retail sales growth seen in September, says CBI

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British retailers reported much slower growth in September after strong demand over the summer months, though shops expect a rebound in October despite growing supply chain difficulties, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said today (24).

Sales were seen as poor for the time of year in September, and were expected to be “broadly average” for the time of year in October.

The CBI’s monthly distributive trade survey showed the headline sales balance for retailers tumbled to +11 in September from +60 in August, its lowest level since March and below all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists.

“Demand cooled for retailers in the year to September after running red hot over the summer, pushing sales below seasonal norms for the first time since March,” said the CBI’s principal economist Ben Jones. “But volumes are expected to return to more typical levels for the time of year next month. Low stock adequacy remains a concern across the distribution sector.”

“Low stock adequacy remains a concern across the distribution sector,” Jones said.

“Respondents to our survey have told us that they do not expect the transport and production issues that are causing these shortages to ease significantly until at least next year and, in some cases, beyond,” he added.