Retailers saw sales volumes remain flat in April, defying expectations of growth, according to the CBI & #39;s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey.
The survey, which had 62 respondents from the retail sector, saw little support to sales growth from the Easter trading period: sales volumes were broadly unchanged in the year to April, the lowest balance since August 2012, continuing a steadily weakening trend in sales growth since November.
Sales volumes were well below average for the time of year, to a much greater extent than expected.
The volume of orders also fell on a year ago, once again disappointing expectations of growth, while stock levels remained above their long-run average relative to expected demand.
Expectations for next month have dampened, with retailers expecting both sales volumes and orders to fall.
Barry Williams, Asda Chief Merchandising Officer for Food, and Chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey Panel, said: & quot;Retailers were frustrated this month by the on-going stagnation in sales growth. This may be explained in part by the unseasonal weather we suffered, but there is no doubt that high street conditions are tricky with consumers lacking the confidence to go out and spend, as they still feel the pinch in their pocket. & quot;
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