Alarm sounds over state of UK high street as sales crash

CBI survey shows sales dropping at fastest rate since 2009 recession, with consumers cutting back and inflation eroding spending power

High street sales are falling at their fastest rate since the height of the recession in 2009 as struggling households put the brakes on spending, according to a survey that is a grim omen for struggling retailers this Christmas.

The CBI’s closely watched survey recorded a “steep drop” in retail sales in October. The slump sent shockwaves through the high street, with the CBI’s chief economist, Rain Newton-Smith, warning of a “softening” of demand as inflation ate into Britons’ spending power. Department stores and specialist food and drink outlets bore the brunt of the spending slowdown.

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