UK retailers expect sales volume to fall at a slightly slower pace but at a historically fast pace next month, the latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed Tuesday.
The retail sales balance rose to -50 percent in May from -55 percent in April. The slight easing of the decline was largely driven by a return to growth in the grocery sector.
Further, a net balance of -56 percent said orders placed on suppliers declined in May versus -56 percent in April.
“The retail sector is at the sharp end of a crisis, with many businesses up against it,” Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist, said.
“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,” the economist added.