Data reveals retail sales 'remain depressed' in year to May

28 May 2020

Data published by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has revealed that retail sales volumes remained 'deeply depressed' in the year to May.

According to the data, supply disruptions have worsened since April. 58% of retailers reported shortages of some goods, whilst 64% reported increased cost pressures. 44% stated that they have experienced shipping delays and a further 60% have faced capacity constraints.

80% of retailers reported cashflow difficulties, down from April's figure of 96%.

The CBI said that sales volumes are expected to fall at a slightly slower pace next month.

'The retail sector is at the sharp end of a crisis, with many businesses up against it,' said Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist at the CBI.

'The government's support packages are making a real difference, with more shops reporting that jobs have been furloughed rather than lost. The furlough system will need to adapt as more businesses open their doors in the months ahead.'

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