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Financial News: UK Retail Sales Fall Most Since 2008: CBI

UK Retail Sales Fall Most Since 2008: CBI

04/28/2020 - 06:25:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK retailers reported the sharpest fall in sales since 2008 in April amid coronavirus, or covid-19, lockdown, survey data from the Confederation of British Industry showed Tuesday.

The retail sales balance fell sharply to -55 percent in April from -3 percent in March, according to monthly Distributive Trades Survey results. This was the biggest fall since December 2008 and the joint lowest in the survey history.

A balance of -54 percent forecasts sales to fall next month, the weakest expectations on record.

Every sub-sector reported a negative balance in April, including grocers and specialist food and drinks.

Internet sales growth slowed in April with the balance easing to 8 percent from +23 percent in March. While growth is expected to pick up in the year to May to 15 percent.

"It's no surprise that the lockdown is hitting retailers hard," Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist, said.

"Two fifths have shut up shop completely for now. And sales of groceries and other essentials also fell, suggesting households may have been dipping into stockpiles built up prior to the lockdown or tightening their belts more generally as incomes take a hit," the economist added.

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