The fastest monthly fall in high street sales since the height of the recession in 2009 has raised fears for the retail sector ahead of the crucial Christmas trading period …
CBI’s monthly survey of the UK retail sector has found that just 15% of retailers reported that sales volumes were up in October on a year ago, whilst 50% said they were down. That gives a rounded balance of -36%, the worst reading since March 2009 when Britain had fallen into recession after the financial crisis.
“The gloomy CBI survey came as Debenhams warned of an “uncertain” environment on the high street in the run up to Christmas after suffering a 44% dive in profits.
The department store confirmed the closure of two stores, in Eltham, south London, and at Farnborough, Hampshire, affecting about 80 jobs, as sales on the high street continue to fall. They are the first of up to 10 UK branches that Debenhams has earmarked for closure.”
“The news that UK retailers suffered an October sales slide could weigh on sterling.
The pound has lost almost half a cent today, to $1.322.
It’s also down 0.3% against the euro at €1.119.
Consumer spending has been a key driver of UK growth this year. Thus, today’s retail slowdown may worry Bank of England policymakers, who must decide whether to raise interest rates next week.”