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CBI: Retail sales stabilised in February

Date Added: 01/03/2012  

Figures released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have revealed retail sales stabilised in the nation last month, which may mean some firms in the sector do not need to take company debt advice in order to avoid the threat of being served with a winding up order.

The CBI's latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey found 34 per cent of retailers reported an increase in their volume of sales in the year to February, while 36 per cent said they had seen a reduction, leaving a resulting balance of minus two per cent.

According to the body, this is a large improvement on the figures for January (minus 22 per cent) and a major boost to the expected numbers (minus ten per cent).

Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and ASDA's chief operating officer, stated it was good to see more positive signs for the retail industry, adding: "But consumers are clearly continuing to focus their spending on day-to-day needs, rather than big ticket or luxury items. With disposable incomes under constant pressure, retailers remain concerned about the general business outlook for the rest of 2012."

But firms in some sections of the retail industry could still be finding life hard and may have to take business debt advice to improve their situation, with clothing retailers reporting minus 41 per cent, which is the lowest number for this sector since March 2009.

Meanwhile, sales of durable household goods, hardware and DIY were all shown to fall rapidly during the month of February by the data released by the CBI.

The British Retail Consortium recently pointed out firms in the retail industry are having a particularly tough time at the moment, due to the fact households are reining in their spending.

According to director-general of the organisation Stephen Robertson, price-cutting has helped some companies to record sales figures that were better than expected.

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Posted by Julie Cutts

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