British retailers are expecting business conditions to worsen in the coming months, according to a quarterly survey released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The report, Distributive Trades Survey, noted that the difference between the retailers that reported sales volumes were up or declined to -49% in August this year.
Of the total respondents, 15% of the retailers said sales were good, 54% said average, while 21% said poor growth.
The survey also noted that 10% of retailers agreed that orders placed upon suppliers have increased and 67% reported that they declined. Retailers expect these orders to decline again next month although at a slow rate.
The CBI revealed that 2% of retailers believe that the situation will improve in the next three months, while 27% of the respondents expect that it could become worse.
The report also revealed that 16% of the respondents plan to make more investments in their business over the next 12 months, when compared to the previous 12 months, while 35% expect to invest less than the previous one-year period.
CBI deputy chief economist Anna Leach said: “Sentiment is crumbling among retailers, and unexpectedly weak sales have led to a large overhang of stocks. With investment intentions for the year ahead and employment down, retailers expect a chilly few months ahead.
“It is unsurprising that business confidence has deteriorated sharply, with a potential no-deal Brexit on the horizon.
“But retailers are also buckling under the cumulative burden of costs, including an outdated business rates system and the apprenticeship levy. Businesses will be looking for government action at the Budget in the coming months to alleviate some of these pressures.”