Retail sales growth poor post-Christmas, says CBI

Woman shopping

The volume of retail sales grew for the third consecutive month in the year to January, but at a slower pace than anticipated, according to the latest monthly CBI Distributive Trades Survey.

The survey of 107 firms showed that, in the year to January, retail sales grew but sales for the time of year were the weakest against seasonal norms in over four years. Looking ahead to the next month, retailers expect similar growth in sales volumes and for orders with suppliers to be flat.

Within the retail sector, robust growth in sales volumes for grocers (+48%) and non-store retailers (+91%) offset the decline in furniture & carpets (-72%) and specialist food & drink (-32%).

Meanwhile, wholesalers continued to report above average growth in sales volumes in the year to January.

Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Intelligence, said: “Household spending will remain under pressure this year from higher inflation and low wage growth, which will continue to weigh on sales growth in the retail sector.”