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Retail sales take a downward turn says CBI

Retail sales fell for the first time in eight months this month, according to figures released today by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Despite high expectations around the Easter trading period, sales disappointed, according to the CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey.

36% percent of retailers reported an increase in sales volumes in the year to April, while 37% reported a fall. The resulting balance (-1%) is the lowest since August 2012, and the first decline in sales in eight months.

Following a weakening in sales growth first seen last November, sales volumes sit well below average for this time of year while the volume of orders has also fallen on the same period in 2012.

The CBI said it continued a steadily weakening trend in sales growth since November and that stock levels continue to remain above the average, relative to expected demand.

Furthermore expectations for May have “dampened”, the accompanying statement from the CBI said, as both sales volumes and orders are expected to decline even further.