Sales volumes in the UK have dropped slightly this month after growing in April, according to the latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
During the month, retail sales volume fell to -10% after growing 5% in the previous before. Sales are expected to stabilise in June.
The data revealed that sales for the time of the year dropped by 18% after growing 21% in the previous month.
Next month, sales volumes are expected to miss seasonal norms by 9%.
CBI survey also finds that digital sales fell by 9% in May after growing 28% the previous month. The trend is expected to continue at a slower pace of 6% the following month.
Wholesale sales volumes dropped by 5% in May after growing 13% in April. The volume is expected to drop to 3% in June.
During the month, motor trades sales volumes fell by 33% and are expected to fall by 5% next month.
Driven by poor sales and acute price pressures, retail headcount in the year to May declined by 48%, the fastest rate since February 2009.
Meanwhile, retailers expect business to improve slowly over the next three months.
CBI principal economist Martin Sartorius said: “Retailers continue to face a challenging trading environment, with firms reporting disappointing sales and formidable inflationary pressures. As a result, they are having to cut back on the size of their workforce and investment plans.
“Looking ahead, there are some reasons for retailers to be more optimistic about the outlook. Consumer sentiment has been improving and households’ energy bills are set to decline from July. The resulting boost to incomes should help support retail sales going into in the second half of this year.”