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Sunday 30th of August 2009
August 28, 2009    

CBI reports fall in August retail sales

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by Kay Murchie

The latest distributive trades survey by the Confederation of British Industry has revealed a fall in UK retail sales in August - the fourth consecutive month of declines.

According to the survey, the balance of retailers who had seen a fall in sales rather than a rise had dipped to -16 in August, from -15 the previous month.

Furthermore, the survey revealed that retailers expect a similar slide in September, with the balance figure at -14.

Andy Clarke, Chairman of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel, comments: “These results round off a slow and disappointing summer for many in the high street, and the picture is not set to improve in September.”

“However, throughout the year retailers have become less and less negative about the business outlook, and that reflects increasing signs of stability in the wider economy,” added Clarke.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics, said the latest figures suggest the recent mini-revival in high street spending may have stalled over the last month.

In related news, it was revealed yesterday that business investment in Britain fell by 10.4% in the April to June period - the biggest quarterly fall since 1985.

Official figures show that the amount spent by businesses on a range of investments, such as new computers and building works, fell to £29.8 billion during the period.

According to economists, the figures will raise concerns that Q2 GDP figures could be revised downwards.

Official figures showed a fall of 0.8% during the second quarter but many now believe this could be revised to -1% or even lower - figures are due to be released later today.

However, on a positive note, the Nationwide reported a 1.6% rise in house prices for August.

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