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UK retail sales tick up but EU referendum clouds outlook - CBI
May 24, 2016 / 10:12 AM / 2 years ago

UK retail sales tick up but EU referendum clouds outlook - CBI

LONDON, (Reuters) - British shop sales edged up this month after a sharp fall in April, but expectations for June sagged as uncertainty about the European Union referendum unsettled retailers, an industry survey showed on Tuesday.

Shoppers are reflected in a store window as they pass sales advertisements on Oxford Street in London, Britain December 26, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall

The Confederation of British Industry’s monthly retail sales balance rebounded to +7, in line with a expectations in a Reuters poll of economists and up from -13 in April, which was the worst reading since January 2012.

But expectations for June fell to -5, the weakest month-ahead reading since mid-2013. The CBI said orders placed on suppliers fell at the fastest pace since March 2009 - around the nadir of the financial crisis.

“With a cloud of uncertainty hanging overhead, particularly from challenging global conditions and the outcome of the EU referendum, it’s not surprising to see investment intentions deteriorating and business sentiment levelling off,” Rain Newton-Smith, CBI director of economics, said.

The CBI surveyed 60 retailers between April 27 and May 13.

Reporting by Andy Bruce

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