The results of a new survey have shown that retail sales in Scotland and across the UK have fallen at their quickest rate in 16 months. The survey goes on to say that sales are expected to pick up in June though.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) figures show that the percentage of firms in the survey that saw a rise in May, against those seeing a fall, led to a deficit of 11 per cent. This is the worst since January 2012.
The falls were most marked in footwear and clothing, as people chose not to buy seasonal garments for the spring and summer. The continuing price rises in essential goods and utilities were also blamed for a restriction in consumer spending.
The chair of the CBI distributive trades survey panel, Barry Williams, said:
“Retail sales growth has weakened since the start of the year as households continue to feel the pinch, with wages failing to keep pace with the cost of living.”
However, he went on to say that many retailers are expecting spending to improve as the summer months descend.
Scottish retailers are also in a stronger position with their finances as they go into the summer. Many have switched to invoice finance methods, such as factoring, instead of traditional lending, for example. With many rainy days over this spring, this seems to make perfect sense.
Highlighting just how bad the weather has affected sales, the Office for National Statistics also released information saying that the continuing bad weather had hindered spending.