Growth in retail sales have slowed this month, according to a survey by the Confederation of British Industry, reflecting the reluctance among shoppers to spend on the high street.
The CBI’s latest quarterly distributive trades survey, which includes the first two weeks of February, found that 37% of retailers experienced an increase in their volume of sales in the year to February and 29% reported a reduction.
The resulting balance of +8% was the lowest figure since last September and was the third consecutive month in which the pace of growth had slowed.
Analysts said the figures were largely the result of persistently high inflation and low wage rises hitting household disposable incomes. The gap between wage rises, which are running at 1.3% and inflation at 2.7% is expected to remain during the rest of the year.
The survey emphasised the weak outlook after shops said that volume of orders fell sharply (-19%) against expectations they would remain flat (0%).