High Street sales

High-street sales grow but still below average for the time of the year

  • Retail sales volumes rose strongly in May compared to a year ago but sales were still reported to be below average for the time of year. The majority of retail sectors saw sales increase.
  • 43% of retailers reported an increase in their volume of sales compared to a year ago, and 23% said they had seen a fall
  • The number of people employed in the retail sector increased on a year ago (+12%), for the first time since February 2003
  • Sentiment regarding the business situation for the next three months has also turned positive (+3%) for the first time since November 2011
  • Year-on-year price inflation in shops remained robust but still below the peak seen at the beginning of 2011
  • Retailers expect sales volumes to grow again on a year ago in June and the business situation to be stable over the next three months

Retail sales steady

  • 33% of retailers saw sales volumes up on a year ago, and the same figure reported a fall.
  • Firms reported that sales were still low for the time of year (-27%), and said that over the next month they expect both volume of sales (-4%) and the volume of orders on suppliers (-12%) to remain subdued.

Retail sales remain steady in March – CBI survey