A survey of British retailers by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said retailers were witnessing the poorest sales performance this month in 10 years, according to a report by Reuters.
The survey’s retail sales balance dropped to -27 this month from +13 in April, which is under all forecasts in a similar Reuters poll and also the lowest since the end of 2017.
The CBI said that if the results are adjusted for the time of year, then sales are the lowest since March of 2009.
“This month’s survey paints a dismal picture of business conditions for retailers, who face a grim combination of tough trading conditions, Brexit uncertainty and a burdensome, outdated business rates regime,” said CBI Economist Anna Leach.
Also, a semiannual measurement of investment intentions by retailers was at its lowest point since the survey was started in 1983.
In other recent British economy news, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned in April that a no-deal Brexit would sacrifice between two and three years of normal economic growth for Britain’s economy between now and 2021, according to a report from Reuters.
Even with an orderly Brexit without a deal, the economy would take a huge hit – growth that is 3.5 percent less than it would be under a better Brexit.
“The increase in trade barriers has an immediate negative impact on U.K. foreign and domestic demand,” the IMF said.
The economy in the EU would also be affected, but not as much, as the IMF predicts a 0.5 percent decrease to gross domestic product (GDP). British goods being exported to the EU and other countries would face new regulations and tariffs if Britain went back to World Trade Organization rules.
The IMF, which in the past has been accused of politically motivated forecasts by Brexit supporters, said that a worst-case scenario, a no-deal Brexit, would heighten the damage to around 4 percent of GDP by 2021.
The prediction took into consideration the U.K.’s decision not to put tariffs on most imports and also the cutting of interest rates by the Bank of England (BoE).