Figures released by the Confederation of Business Industry suggest that sales so far have not been helped by the World Cup
Retail sales ground to a "near halt" in June as expectations that the World Cup would boost food and clothing sales failed to materialise.
The Confederation of Business Industry said sales slowed to a seven-month low in June, as clothing sales fell for the first time in five months while supermarkets and grocers also struggled.
Experts said slow wage growth continued to weigh on how much consumers were willing to spend. “After a recent improved run for the High Street, a fall in clothing and food sales has contributed to a disappointing month," said Barry Williams, who leads the CBI panel and is a senior executive at Asda.
“Whilst it seems that hopes that retail spending would be boosted by a strong performance by England at the World Cup were as over ambitious as aspirations for a good performance, I’m reassured that consumer confidence is still on the up, as household budgets are being bolstered by falling inflation."
The CBI's survey of 133 retailers and wholesalers showed 29 percent of businesses said sales volumes were up in June on a year ago, compared with 24 percent that said volumes had declined. The rounded balance of 4 percent was well below expectations of a positive balance of 29 percent .
While retailers remained optimistic about future sales, expectations for July were relatively subdued, with this index dropping to a five-month low. "The loss of momentum in retail sales in June indicated by the CBI does raise question marks as to how strong consumer spending can be until earnings growth picks up appreciably," said Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight.
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