UK: Clothing retail sales growth at five-month low
Sales growth at UK clothing retailers in January was at its lowest level since last August, according to figures released today (24 January) by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
A balance of just +13% of clothing retailers said they had seen growth in retail sales volumes during the month. And shops selling footwear and leather saw falling sales (-6%) for the third month in a row.
Overall growth in sales on the high street slowed in the year to January, results from the business organisation's latest Distributive Trades Survey showed.
A balance of +17% of all retailers reported increased sales volumes compared to a year ago, with the results lifted by strong sales growth in the grocery sector.
The results were better than expected (+10%) and show a similar picture to December (+19%) - but fall short of the robust growth in October (+30%) and November last year (+33%).
"We are far from out of the woods," said Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and Asda chief operating officer.
"With tough trading conditions and subdued consumer spending adding to the uncertain economic picture, retailers will continue to face tough market conditions in the coming months."
While sales volumes in January were broadly in line with the average for the time of year (+1%), retailers expect sales to dip slightly below seasonal norms once again in February (-7%) and are predicting year-on-year sales growth to slow slightly further in the next month (+13%).
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