Retail sales fall below expectations in September

British retail sales fell below expectations this month following an increase in August, according to a new research.

In a survey of 60 retailers, 30% said that sales volumes were up in September on a year ago, while 38% said they were down, giving a balance of -8%.

This is below expectations of +3% and a decline on the previous month’s balance of +9%, the latest CBI monthly Distributive Trades Survey revealed.

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Retailers expect sales volumes to increase next month, both online and in store, but orders placed on suppliers fell for a six consecutive month, the CBI said.

CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said: “September is normally an important month for retailers and it’s encouraging to see that sales of clothing, DIY goods and hardware are above seasonal norms.

“However, consumer confidence has been dented since earlier in 2016 and higher inflation is likely to squeeze household incomes over the year ahead. With margins remaining tight, retailers are set to continue to operate in a fiercely competitive environment for some time.”

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