DIY and hardware retail sales fall

Published:  30 January, 2012

LONDON: Retail sales fell in January as shoppers reined in their spending at the start of the year, the CBI says.

The CBI's monthly survey of the distributive trades found 44% of retailers said sales volumes were down on a year ago.

Hardware and DIY stores gave the gloomiest report among the retail sector, with online and mail order faring the best.

Retailers expect sales volumes to continue to fall in February, although at a slower pace than this month.

They reported January sales as disappointing for the time of year.

Howard Archer, chief economist at Global Insight, said the findings pointed to another quarter of weak economic growth: "Given the key role of consumer spending, the CBI survey heightens concern that the economy is set for further contraction in the first quarter of 2012 after GDP fell 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2011, thereby putting the UK back into recession."

He said poor sales were likely to lead to further falls in the rate of inflation.

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