LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - British retailers remained gloomy in the run-up to non-essential stores being allowed to reopen to the public on June 15, a survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed on Thursday.
The CBI said 62% of the retail chains it surveyed between May 27 and June 12 feared that weak consumer demand would hamper recovery from the slump in sales that occurred for most items other than food and drink after the lockdown began in late March.
The CBI’s headline retail sales barometer rose to -37 in June from -50 in May, slightly short of economists’ average expectation in a Reuters poll and far below its level at the start of the year.
“Despite retailers working flat out to make sure they are safe and ready to open their doors, outside the grocery sector most retailers expect sales to be far below where they were this time last year,” CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said. (Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Alistair Smout)