1. News
September 27, 2021

CBI survey finds UK retail growth slowed in year to September

Sales and orders in the country are expected to grow more quickly next month.

Retail sales in the UK grew at their slowest pace since March in the 12 months to September, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey.

A total of 126 companies took part in the survey, 45 of which were retailers.

The results also show that growth in orders placed with suppliers slowed during the month.

Despite this, the CBI expects both sales and orders to accelerate next month.

Retail sales in September increased by 11% compared to 60% last month, but are expected to recover and reach 29% next month.

The survey also found retail orders during the month grew by 20%, compared to 68% last month. This figure is expected to rise to 24% next month.

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Wholesalers performed better than in the previous month, with a growth of 32% compared to 28% a month earlier. The CBI expects this trend to continue next month.

CBI principal economist Ben Jones said: “Demand cooled for retailers in the year to September after running red hot over the summer, pushing sales below seasonal norms for the first time since March.

“But volumes are expected to return to more typical levels for the time of year next month.

“Low stock adequacy remains a concern across the distribution sector. Respondents to our survey have told us that they do not expect the transport and production issues that are causing these shortages to ease significantly until at least next year and, in some cases, beyond.

“The government should take steps to relieve some of the pressure on the distribution sector to ensure we don’t face shortages of key goods in the coming months.

“This should start with immediately reviewing and updating the Shortage Occupation List, including adding heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers.”

Last month, the CBI reported that UK retail sales saw a sharp increase in the 12 months to August, their largest since December 2014.