Investors Heave a Breath, UK Sales Data Begins to Gain Momentum!


Declining sales momentum for British retailers was found to have slowed in February and a measure of inflation fell to the weakest level in nearly three years, according to industry data that mirrored official data published earlier this month.

The Union of British Industry's (CBI) monthly retail sales balance, a gauge of sales compared to last year, rose to -7 from -50 in January, the slowest decline in 10 months.

Still, traders expect the sales decline to pick up slightly in March to -15.

"Retail activity bounced back in February after a very dismal start to the year," said Martin Sartorius, the CBI's chief economist.

"Nevertheless, with expected sales expected to continue to decline in the next month, traders are still planning to reduce the number of employees and investments in the future."

Quarterly data from the CBI showed sales price inflation in the period to February was the weakest since May 2021 at +54, down significantly from +73 in November.

Official data published in early February showed Britain's retail sales rose by the highest rate in almost three years in January as consumers regained some of their interest in spending, suggesting that Britain's economy could emerge quickly from recession in the second half of the year.

On the other hand, the number of job openings in the UK was the lowest in almost three years, with the number down by 15% from the previous year, according to data from employment data company Adzuna reported on Monday, adding to signs that the labor market is slow

Last week, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey welcomed what he described as "full energy" - with the official unemployment rate at 3.8% despite the economy experiencing a small recession in the second half of last year.

However, the central bank wants to see wage growth slow from a rate of more than 6% to maintain downward pressure on inflation, which is still double its target.