WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
Retail sales expected to stabilise as restrictions ease - CBI
Retail sales volumes fell in the year to November, but online sales rose at the fastest pace in two years according to the latest CBI quarterly Distributive Trades Survey.
The survey of 114 firms, of which 57 were retailers, found that overall retail sales volumes fell in the year to November at a similar pace to the previous month. However, internet sales grew at the fastest pace since October 2018, suggesting a substitution in spending away from in-store retailing during the month-long lockdown in England from 5th November, which closed all non-essential retail stores.
Against a backdrop of sequential lockdowns across the UK, the overall level of sales was seen as below average for the time of year to the greatest degree since June. Looking ahead, retailers expect sales volumes to be broadly flat in the year to December, with the current English lockdown due to end on 2nd December.
Meanwhile, retailers reported that employment fell further in the year to November, but the pace of decline eased compared with August, with a similar fall expected in the year to December. Investment intentions for the year ahead remain negative, but less so than in August or May.
Overall, retailers’ sentiment about the general business situation over the next three months deteriorated, following a slight improvement in August.
Ben Jones, CBI Principal Economist, yesterday said:
“This month’s survey gives hope that the economic impact of the Autumn lockdowns should not be as severe as in the Spring. Both consumers and firms are adapting as best they can, borne out in this month’s strong online sales.
“For many retail sectors, particularly those with less of an online presence, conditions remain extremely challenging. Retailers will be looking to salvage what they can from a very difficult year and many will be greatly relieved by the announcement that they can re-open over the crucial Christmas trading period.
“With encouraging progress on mass, rapid testing and vaccine solutions coming down the track, there is reason for growing consumer and business confidence going into 2021.”
Figures are balance statistics unless otherwise stated.
- Retail sales fell at a similar pace to last month in the year to November (balance of -25%, from -23%).
- Orders fell, but at the slowest pace since December 2019 (balance of -10% from -39%) and are expected to fall at a similar pace next month (-13%).
- Internet sales grew at the fastest pace since October 2018 (balance of +55% from +47%) and are expected to grow at a similar pace in December (+53%).
- Stock levels are below the long-run average (balance of +14% from +6%; average +18%) and are expected to remain so next month (+12%).
Wholesalers and motor trade
- Wholesaler sales volumes fell at a slower pace (balance of -12%, from -20%), with a similar fall expected next month (-13%). Meanwhile, motor trade volumes fell for a second consecutive month (-28%, from -32%) and are expected to continue to fall in December (-32%).
- Orders placed on suppliers by wholesalers fell slightly (balance of -5%, from -12%) with a further fall expected next month (-7%). Orders for motor traders decreased further (-44% from -27%), with the pace of decline expected to accelerate in December (-57%).
- Both wholesalers (balance of -9% from 0%) and motor traders (-13% from 0%) reported stock levels as too low compared to expected sales. Whilst wholesalers expect a rebound next month (+18), motor traders do not (-9%).
- Average retail selling prices increased compared to last November (balance of +40% from +17%) and at the fastest pace since February, although price inflation is expected to ease next quarter (+33%).
- Retail investment intentions for the year ahead fell in November, but at a slower pace than in August (balance of -12% from -32%)
- Retail employment continued to fall compared to a year ago, but at a slower pace than in August (balance of -32% from -45%).
Latest News from
WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
Job opportunity with the Bevan Foundation02/12/2021 16:05:00
The Bevan Foundation are looking for a skilled and talented policy & research officer to lead their activity on work and the economy.
Majority of employers agree flexible working requests should be a day-one right, CIPD research finds02/12/2021 12:40:00
Over two fifths of employers say they will be more likely to grant requests for flexible working after end of pandemic restrictions, than they were before COVID-19
Strong growth in private sector activity continues into three months to November02/12/2021 12:15:00
Private sector activity grew at a similarly strong pace in the quarter to November as the previous month (balance of +32% from +29%).
LGA responds to adult social care reform white paper02/12/2021 11:40:00
Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responded to the publication of the Government’s white paper on adult social care reform
NHS Confederation - Digital transformation in community health services is improving patient care but needs stronger national backing02/12/2021 10:40:00
A mobile workforce and a focus on delivering care close to home means community providers have been making rapid progress in digital development.
LGA responds to ONS figures on deaths of people homeless02/12/2021 09:40:00
Cllr David Renard, Local Government Association housing spokesperson, responded to figures from the Office for National Statistics on the number of deaths of people who were homeless in England and Wales in 2020
Social care white paper fails to address staffing crisis or improve jobs - TUC02/12/2021 09:05:00
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady yesterday commented on the government’s social care white paper.
TUC poll: Seven in 10 HR managers support greater flexible working in their workplace01/12/2021 16:05:00
Seven in 10 (70%) of UK HR managers now say flexible working could work for their business – a new TUC poll has revealed today (Wednesday).
Companies House: File Companies House accounts early and online to avoid delays01/12/2021 13:15:00
If you’re due to file accounts with Companies House by the end of December, use our online services where possible and allow plenty of time before your deadline.
Service sector continues its recovery in the quarter to November, but costs see record growth – CBI01/12/2021 11:05:00
Optimism improved for firms across the service sector in the three months to November, according to the latest Service Sector Survey from the CBI – however cost growth in both sub-sectors continued to pick up, growing at the fastest pace since survey records began in 1998.