CBI: High Street sales fall further

| March 27, 2009 | 0 Comments

The latest figures from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have revealed that High Street sales in March suffered even more than the previous month as consumers have reined in their spending even further.

Sales volumes have fallen for 63 percent of retailers and that the gauge of future sales has fallen to -42 percent from -33 percent, which provides an even tougher outlook for the already beleaguered retail sector.

Andy Clarke, chairman of the CBI distributive trades panel, has said that the woeful sales figures for March has already compounded what has already been a very difficult year for retailers and the testing times are likely to continue as consumers examine every item of spending.

Investment has continued to fall and public finances are under severe strain, in a period where there has been three consecutive months of average gauge of sales volumes falling.

All retailers, excluding grocers, have suffered compared to last year but shops selling durable household goods, footwear and leather have been hit the hardest.

The CBI figures also revealed that pay packets shrank at the start of the year, and with the cancellation of many bonuses and pay freezes, combined with increasing unemployment, has meant that many households have remained very uncertain about the future.

The weakness of the labour market is going to have an impact on disposable income and, in turn, the retail sector.

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