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Retail sales hit by biggest drop in a decade

UK retail sales in June fell at the fastest annual pace since 2009, the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) has reported.

Tough comparisons were blamed for the drop, following the warm weather and World Cup mania that buoyed retail spending in June 2018.

The CBI’s monthly sales report found that the retail sales balance dropped to -42 compared with June 2018, and 58% of retailers reported that sales volumes were lower this year. Only 16% of retailers said they were selling more.

The figure is also a significant drop from May’s score, which was -27.

However, Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, stressed that the negative figures were “not a convincing sign of an emerging consumer downturn”, as the balance had been “erratic” in recent months.

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