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Retailers Upbeat As High Street Sales Slide

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High street sales slumped for the fourth consecutive month in August and look set to fall again in September, but retailers are feeling more upbeat about the future, according to research from the CBI, the employers' group.

Some 34 per cent of retailers said that sales rose during the month, compared with the year earlier, while 51 per cent reported a fall in sales, according to the CBI’s distributive trades survey.

The resulting balance of minus 16 compares with minus 15 in July and minus 17 in both May and June.

The last increase was in April, when the balance was 3. The CBI forecasts that the balance for September will be minus 14.

Andy Clarke, chief operating officer of Asda and chairman of the CBI distributive trades panel, said: “These results round off a slow and disappointing summer for many in the high street, and the picture is not set to improve in September.

"Stock levels have been pared right back as retailers have adapted to weaker consumer demand.â€

He added: “However, throughout the year retailers have become less and less negative about the business outlook, and that reflects increasing signs of stability in the wider economy.â€

Just like the jobless recovery we are having a sell less recovery.

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