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Survey reveals surprise shop sales slowdown

Retail

After six months of strong spending growth, the latest CBI Distributive Trades Survey has fallen to a balance of +1 this month - from +39 in January. Sales, prices and headcount all fell in the retail sector, according to the survey, but the majority felt the slowdown was temporary and the CBI said companies remained optimistic that sales volumes would grow in March but expectations had 'moderated significantly from recent highs'. The CBI added that average selling prices fell for the first time since May 2006, with only a slight rise expected in March. The survey suggests retailers expect sales volumes to grow next month, with 44% expecting them to rise and 17% to fall, giving a balance of +27%. some sub-sectors, including chemists, recorded growth in sales volumes during February, but grocers' sales fell on a year ago as did those of non-specialised stores, including department stores.

 

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