Retail sales rise to best level in nearly three years - CBI
UK retail sales rose in June as the vaccination programme boosted consumer confidence, according to a survey released on Friday by the Confederation of British Industry.
The CBI’s measure of the volume of sales increased to +25 from +18 in May, hitting its best level since August 2018 and coming in above consensus expectations of +11. The balance is the difference between the number of retailers who report higher sales and those who report lower sales.
However, internet sales growth slowed to its lowest since April 2020, with a similar pace of growth expected next month.
CBI principal economist Ben Jones said: "After a generally gloomy 2021 so far, the sun finally shone for retailers in June, with seasonal sales volumes the strongest since November 2016.
"This was the latest sign that the success of the vaccination programme is feeding through to stronger consumer confidence which, along with the re-opening of hospitality, is encouraging shoppers back onto the streets."
However, he also cautioned that the sector remains a long way from a full recovery.
"The return of demand is patchy, with inner-city footfall still well down. The outlook is also clouded somewhat by supply pressures, with stocks seen as too low compared with expected sales, as logistical and capacity challenges continue to hamper global activity," he said.
"Even as consumer demand returns, the legacy of lockdowns on retailers’ balance sheets remains. Many will welcome the rent moratorium extension, but more support is needed, starting with holding off on tapering existing business rate reliefs."