WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
Printable version

Retail sales stabilise in March after 10 months of decline - CBI Distributive Trades Survey

Retail sales were broadly flat in the year to March, according to the latest monthly CBI Distributive Trades Survey. The stabilisation in sales follows ten months in a row of decline.

Looking ahead, retailers expect year-on-year sales volumes to fall in April.

The key survey findings included:

  • Retail sales volumes were broadly flat in the year to March (weighted balance of +2% from -7% in the year to February), following 10 consecutive months of decline. Retailers expect sales to fall again next month (-25%).
  • Sales were reported as “average” for the time of year (0% from -1% in February). Retailers expect sales to be slightly below seasonal norms next month (-8%).
  • Order volumes declined in the year to March at a quicker pace than last month (-22% from -14% in February). Orders are set to fall at a similar rate next month (-24%).
  • Retailers reported stocks as “adequate” in relation to expected sales (-1% from +17% in February). Stock positions are expected to be broadly unchanged next month (+2%).

Martin Sartorius, CBI Principal Economist, yesterday said: 

“The stabilisation of retail sales in March should give some hope that the sector’s downturn is bottoming out. The earlier timing of Easter will likely mean weaker year-on-year sales in April, but easing inflation should support retail spending going forward.

“In order to drive a sustainable recovery in the retail sector, the Government should look to reform business rates. Rethinking the current system to reward investment and better align rates to the economic cycle would help encourage retailers to invest and grow after a difficult year of trading.”

In addition, data from the survey showed:

  • Internet sales volumes declined in the year to March after having grown slightly last month (-27% from +4% in February). Retailers expect internet sales to fall at a slower pace next month (-12%).
  • Elsewhere in the distribution sector, wholesale volumes contracted slightly in the year to March (-8% from +15% in February) and are expected to fall marginally next month (-4%). Motor trade sales volumes grew rapidly in the year to March (+82% from +3% in February) and are set to maintain a similar rate of growth next month (+81%).

 

Original article link: https://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/articles/cbi-distributive-trades-survey-march-2024/

Share this article

Latest News from
WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)

Latest WiredGov Survey: How Are Public Sector Budget Cuts Hurting Talent Acquisition? 10 x £100 Amazon Vouchers Up for Grabs!