Tag Archives: overbalance

High street sales have fallen. Is the economy overbalancing – and what if it does?

Closed: if high street sales continue to fall – and with high inflation and utility bills, that seems likely – then you should expect to see some of your favourite shops closing in the next few months, like this Mothercare store from three years ago.

Is this the first sign of the economy overbalancing? We’re being told that the UK won’t go into recession – that the economy will grow – but if high street sales are falling it is clear that people don’t have money to spend.

Where is all the cash going, then?

(This is the important news, by the way. The stuff about Boris Johnson resigning, his honours list, and the Labour Party becoming a cesspit under Keir Starmer is just gossip in comparison.)

The figures are clear:

Total like-for-like retail sales, combining in-store and online, fell by 1.5% overall compared with last May, according to business advisory firm BDO’s latest High Street Sales Tracker.

Online sales fell by 3.3%, one of the lowest results recorded outside of the pandemic, while in-store sales rose by just 1% across the month.

The homewares sector recorded a “very poor” total fall of 9.2% in May – off the back of last May’s 14.9% decline – as the higher cost of big-ticket items and rising interest rates deterred budget-conscious shoppers from spending on furniture and electronics.

Fashion recorded its third consecutive month of poor results, with total sales down by 1.5% in May – the first time in more than two years that the sector has recorded negative growth.

The lifestyle sector was the only category to record growth in May, but at a “far from reassuring” 0.7%.

Put this together with claims that the economy is improving and we may consider that inflation and high utility bills have sucked all the spending power out of the vast majority of the UK’s population,

None of us – apart from the rich – have money to spend on anything other than survival.

This is a situation that cannot last for long without causing societal change.

Inflation has fallen, but that only means prices are rising at a slower rate. With so many of us having taken real-terms pay cuts for many years under Tory government, it won’t be long before we can’t even afford to put meals on our tables.

The high street shops don’t have contingency plans for long-term sales drops so, if this new trend continues, they’ll be going out of business in a couple of months’ time.

And then we’ll see some real fireworks.

I wonder how Rishi Sunak is planning to keep the peace. Does he think his Public Order Act is going to stop riots?

Source: High street records negative sales for first time in more than two years

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