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UK Retailers Log Sharp Fall In Sales In June: CBI

UK retailers reported a steep fall in sales in June but stronger growth for grocers and stable volumes in the specialist food and drink sector ensured a slower pace of decline than in May, the Distributive Trades Survey data from the Confederation of British Industry showed Thursday.

A balance of -37 percent said sales declined in June compared to -50 percent in May. This was weaker than the expected rate of -34 percent. A net 48 percent forecast sales to decrease further next month.

The overall level of sales is expected to be poor for the time of year in July. And asked about potential challenges for re-starting businesses, 62 percent of retailers cited a lack of demand from customers.

"With high street shops, department stores and shopping centres re-opening across England last week amid some scenes of long queues, you'd be forgiven for thinking retailers' difficulties are coming to an end," Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist, said. "But the health of the retail sector remains in the balance."

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