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Financial News: UK Retail Sales Fall Unexpectedly In August: CBI

UK Retail Sales Fall Unexpectedly In August: CBI

08/25/2020 - 06:40:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK retail sales declined unexpectedly in August despite easing of lockdown measures, survey data from the Confederation of British Industry showed Tuesday.

The retail sales balance fell to -6 percent from +4 percent in July. Economists had forecast the net balance to double to +8 percent.

A net 17 percent forecast sales to fall further next month, Distributive Trades Survey revealed.

At -45 percent, the retail employment fell at the fastest rate since February 2009 in the year to August, with an even sharper decline anticipated in the year to September. A net 52 percent forecast employment to fall in the quarter ahead.

"The furlough scheme has proved effective at insulating workers and businesses in some of the worst-hit sectors during the pandemic, but these findings reinforce fears that many job losses have been delayed rather that avoided," Alpesh Paleja, CBI lead economist, said.

The economist noted that the trading conditions for the retail sector remain tough, even against the backdrop of business slowly returning.

Firms will be wary of deteriorating household incomes and the risk of further local lockdowns potentially hitting them in the pocket for a second time, Paleja added.

Investment intentions for the year ahead remained firmly negative at -32 percent. However, retailers expect a moderate improvement in the business situation in the coming quarter.

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