Merchant sales still down

Published:  29 October, 2009

LONDON: Sales through builders' merchants continue to fall despite sales optimism among high street retailers, said the CBI.

The latest CBI monthly distributive trades survey found a balance of 8% more respondents reporting that volumes have risen in the past month than those reporting a drop. A balance of 19% more retailers expect sales to improve even further in November.

But, a breakdown of wholesalers by business category illustrates the stark divide between those in consumer-facing industries and those in business-facing sectors.

Those in industrial materials, builders' merchants, electrical installation materials, and agricultural machinery all overwhelmingly reported falling sales.

Sales volumes in the wholesale sector were broadly flat for the second consecutive month beating expectations of a heavy drop. Distributors expect this pattern will repeat in the month ahead, said the survey.

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