Retail sales fell for the second month running in the year to June, following April's brief respite.
According to latest figures from the CBI, the decline, broadly in line with retailers' expectations, was no worse than in May, however, and less severe than falls recorded between July 2008 and March 2009.
In the CBI's latest Distributive Trades Survey, while 31 per cent of retailers said year-on-year sales volumes rose in the first two weeks of June, 48 per cent said they were down, giving a balance of -17 per cent.
Retailers expect sales to fall slightly faster in July, but this balance of -21 per cent is similar to expectations for June (-20 per cent).
Sales for the time of year were said to be poor by a net 15 per cent of retailers, though this was less negative than in May (a balance of -36 per cent). They are expected to be similarly below par in July (-13 per cent).
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