1. News
October 27, 2021

CBI survey says UK retail sales in October were ‘broadly average’

Retail sales are expected to be above seasonal norms next month.

Retail sales in the UK were ‘broadly average’ in October, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey.

A total of 123 companies were included in the survey, 51 of which were retailers.

Retail sales grew at a faster pace in the year to October by 30% compared to 11% last month, and the trend is expected to continue and grow to 35% next month.

The survey also found that retail orders rose from 20% in September to 48% in October. It is expected to ease at 41% in November.

Meanwhile, wholesalers’ sales slightly eased from 30% in the year to September to 27% this month.

CBI Principal Economist Ben Jones said: “The UK’s economic recovery has been pretty bumpy lately and the same seems true of the retail sector. Sales performance has jumped around in recent months, while stock shortages continue to bite.

Content from our partners
Advanced analytics and predicting market trends in FMCG
How smart predictive analytics is shaping product development
Data analysis in the brave new world

“Disruption to supply chains, combined with staff shortages and uncertain public health conditions mean retailers are finding it difficult to plan for the winter ahead.

“It’s therefore crucial the government remains agile to support the sector. The chancellor has the opportunity at his upcoming budget to signal the government’s intent to reform the outdated business rates system, starting with more frequent revaluations and removing any disincentives for investment in energy efficiency and decarbonisation.”

Despite the rise in retail sales, stock adequacy dropped to a record low since 1985.

Recently, data from the country’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the UK declined by 0.2% last month after falling by 0.6% in August.