CBI reveals slow August trading on the high street

Growth in high street spending has slowed in August with balance of retailers reporting rising sales falling to 15 per cent from the 18 per cent growth in July.

Figures from the CBI’s Distributive Trades survey showed that 37 per cent more clothing retailers reported sales down this year than last. The results from the survey carried out between July 31 and August 15 cites weak demand for summer stock because of poor weather for the negative growth.

Slower demand on the high street has meant that only 16 per cent of retailers have felt able to raise prices compared with a year ago.

CBI chief economic adviser Ian McCafferty said: “This more moderate growth is expected to continue and retailers are less inclined to put up prices, which should help alleviate pressure to move interest rates up again.”

Footwear and leather retailers experienced the strongest sales growth, with a balance 70 per cent reporting higher sales than last August.

The Harry Potter effect also boosted year-on-year growth for booksellers and stationers, with 41 per cent more reporting sales up than sales down on last year, August has been the strongest month since April for this sector.