Latest data released by CBI - 22 August 2019

  • Prior -16
  • Total distributive reported sales -35
  • Prior -11

The readings here are an indicator of short-term trends in the retail and wholesale sector of the UK economy. Ouch, that is a massive miss. The headline falls to its weakest level since December 2008 and is the second weakest reading on record (since 1983).

Looking at the details, the quarterly business situation balance isn't that that pretty either with the 3-months to August recording its weakest reading since February 2009.

This just reaffirms sentiment that retailers are growing more pessimistic with the threat of a no-deal Brexit still present. The drop here comes despite the fact of renewed signs of stockpiling again, which will only serve to exacerbate the downturn due to the bullwhip effect.

The pound may be holding more steady despite the doom and gloom that the data suggests but it belies the fact that retail/consumption activity is likely to be more subdued in Q3 and tilt the UK economy towards a potential technical recession.