Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Weak retailing
Posted by David Smith at 01:00 PM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Unlike the housing market, retailing is weak. After a downbeat September, October looks to have been poor for retailers. Particularly, it seems, for shoe shops. This won't stop the Bank raising rates, however.

"Retailersí sales volumes fell for the first time in seven months during October, defying expectations, though retailers remain optimistic for growth in Novemberís sales - according to the CBIís monthly survey of distributive trades published today (Tuesday).

"While 38 per cent of retailers said their sales were up on a year ago, 42 per cent reported a fall in their volume of sales. This balance of minus 4 per cent is the weakest since March (-16%). A balance of 11 per cent of firms still expects to see positive growth in November.

"Sales were mixed across sectors. Several reported sales had fallen; notably the footwear & leather sector whose balance of minus 87 per cent was the weakest since December 2000 (-90%). Sales of specialist food fell for a balance of 71 per cent, the fastest decline since December 2002, and for furniture & carpets (-51%)."

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