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CBI Sales Up in Dec, Seen Lower in Jan

MNI (London)
  • Reported Sales Volume: -3%; Prev(Nov): -25%
  • Expected Sales Volume (Jan): -33%; Prev(Dec): -2%
  • Reported Orders Volume: -4%; Prev(Nov): -10%
  • Expected Orders Volume (Jan): -21%; Prev(Dec): -13%
CBI retail sales improved in Dec to the highest level since Sep as tight lockdown measures were eased in England at the beginning of Dec. The report noted that sales were seen as good for the time of the year with internet sales rising at an above average pace for the third consecutive month. However, sales are expected to plunge in Jan as restrictions had been tightened ahead of Christmas due to continuously rising Covid-19 cases. Orders placed upon suppliers stabilised in Dec having fallen in every month since Nov 2019, but they are forecast to decrease again in Jan. Stocks were considered adequate compared to expected sales, although it is the lowest level since Sep 2009, reflecting a strong increase in respondents reporting "too low" stocks. Performance in the retail sector diverges. While grocers, furniture and other normal goods shops saw strong sales growth, the clothing, footwear and department store sector saw sales decline.
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