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UK Retail Sales Slide at Fastest Pace in More than a Year: CBI

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) - British retail sales fell in July at the fastest rate since April 2022 and stores are bracing for worse times ahead, with many chains cutting orders placed with suppliers, an industry survey showed on Thursday.

The Confederation of British Industry's monthly balance of retail sales, which compares volumes with a year ago, fell to -25 in July from -9 in June. Expectations for the month ahead fell to -32 from zero, the weakest reading since March 2021.

"Firms remain cautious about the retail sector's near-term outlook as they pare back on orders and brace themselves for another sales contraction in the year to August," said CBI economist Martin Sartorius.

The survey's gauge of orders placed with suppliers fell to its lowest level since January 2021, when Britain had re-entered a COVID-19 lockdown.

"Cost pressures, a tight labour market, and rising interest rates, alongside uncertain demand conditions, make the current environment difficult to navigate for retailers," Sartorius said.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by David Milliken

Source: Reuters

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