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British high-street sales hit by weak demand for fashion

British high-street sales hit by weak demand for fashion
June 2, 2017

LONDON - Sales on Britain's high streets fell 1.3 percent in May, dragged lower by weak demand for clothes and shoes, according to accountancy group BDO's High Street Sales Tracker.

Like-for-like sales in the fashion sector fell 3.6 percent on the same month a year ago, making May the fourth month of the year to see no growth in sales in stores, BDO said on Friday.

Spending in the lifestyle sector, which includes gifts, health and beauty and leisure goods, rose 3.9 percent, buoyed by record tourist numbers and the weak pound, BDO said, and homeware sales increased by 1.2 percent.

"Reduced spending, resulting from household budgets coming under increasing pressure from rising inflation and low notional age increases, is being felt most by fashion retailers, " BDO said.

The BDO Tracker data added to signs that consumer spending in Britain is wilting in the face of rising inflation since last year's Brexit vote.

The Confederation of British Industry said last week that its monthly retail sales balance slid back to +2 in May from +38 in April, a four-month low. -Reuters