Consumer spending still floundering

May retail figures showed just how fragile consumer spending can be with a surprising drop that totalled to be the worst set of figures since the recession officially began a little over 14 months ago.

Retailers of DIY products, household goods, and chemists fell within the first two weeks of May, but clothing sales also suffered a substantial fall after three months of starting to show positive growth.  According to the CBI Distributive Trades Survey, 18% of all retailers posted decreases in sales with almost 50% reporting they saw a drop and only 30% reported growth.

These are the lowest set of figures seen since March of 2009 and were much worse than the 17% that many expected to see in sales increases.

Economists believe that het cold weather that hit at the beginning of May delayed the fashion chains trading and kept housing market at a minimal.

However, chief European economist at ISH Global Insight, Howard Archer, stated that consumers may also have been warned of spending by the global uncertainty that has been painted by the coalition and parliament Government.  Retailers themselves are also negative about June sales expecting to see sales continue to fall.

The chief economic advisor of the CBI, Ian McCafferty, stated that retail conditions look to remain fragile with shoppers starting to feel pinched again and cautious about making purchases since they have only see moderate pay raises in the face of an increase in prices across the globe.

Archer stated that June and July sales however may get a boost from the World Cup.