Despite UK retail sales surprisingly picking up across August, a recent survey found that major stores are still expecting large drops in unemployment over the coming months.
The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) monthly retail sales gauge increased to +29 last month, which was up from +20 in June. It also came after a Reuters poll of economists had predicted a fall to just +13.
Though the prediction proved to be some way off, it certainly mirrors the current outlook of retailers. The CBI’s latest quarterly review discovered that employment expectations have in fact sank to their lowest level since the end of 2009, when the nation was dealing with the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
Explaining the above, Anna Leach, CBI Economist, describes the situation as ‘orders falling, prices rising, employment sliding and investment drifting down’, she also mentions that the summer heatwave kept shoppers away from the high street too.
This is also cited as compounding the problems, according to the British Retail Consortium, who mention the fact that the high temperatures have continued into September may end up costing non-food retailers up to a massive £80 million per week. The trade association has concluded that there is a ‘clear relationship’ between weather and sales and said that the higher temperatures later on in the year delay the purchase of the autumn and winter lines.
This latest news may not come as a surprise to Walsh Taylor (as touched on previously on our blog, retail sales have been suffering for a while), but it is always disappointing to hear of so many struggling under financial pressure.
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