CBI

BreakingRetail sales fall at fastest rate since 2008

Shopping on UK high street
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The CBI says that UK retail sales in August dropped at the fastest pace since December 2008.

The business group said that its monthly gauge of retailers fell to -49 in August from -16 in which is the second weakest reading since records began in 1983.

CBI deputy chief economist Anna Leach, says: "Sentiment is crumbling among retailers, and unexpectedly weak sales have led to a large overhang of stocks.

"With investment intentions for the year ahead and employment down, retailers expect a chilly few months ahead."

'Skills shortages are getting worse'

Matthew Fell, chief UK policy director at the CBI, says that the decline in net immigration in the UK as well as record low employment "means that skills shortages are getting worse".

“Business understands that free movement is ending, but it marks a huge change in the way firms access skills and labour. They’ll need proper time to adapt to a new system.

“The announcement that free movement will end immediately in a ‘no deal’ has left employers and their employees asking fundamental questions about what this means for them. They urgently need this clarified.”

Good morning!

Welcome to Business Live.

We will be keeping an eye on the pound as Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later on in Berlin where he is expected to again raise scrapping the Irish backstop element of the Brexit deal.

Market watchers will be eagerly anticipating the minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting when the rate-setting committee voted for the first cut since 2008.

This come ahead of a speech by Fed chairman Jerome Powell later this week at the central bank's Jackson Hole symposium.

And this morning the Office for National Statistics will release the latest UK public debt figures and the CBI will provide an update on how the retail sector is faring.

As always, we'd love to hear from you. Email Business Live at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

'We can't be prepared for change in competitiveness'

Today Programme

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CBI director general Carolyn Fairburn
AFP

Following the leak of the government's Yellowhammer dossier outlining the effect of a no-deal Brexit, Carolyn Fairburn, director general of the CBI says that although businesses are prepared, the costs will likely be severe.

"I think what Yellowhammer does show is how incredibly serious for our economy a no-deal outcome would be," she says.

"We can be prepared, we should be prepared, but I don't think that takes away from the fact that what Yellowhammer shows - and what I think business has been saying for three years - is that cost will be really significant for our economy and for jobs, and that a deal is the number one priority."

She adds: "What we can't be prepared for though is the long-run impact of a fundamental change in our competitiveness."

CBI tests mood on no-deal Brexit

CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn tweets: