The Confederation for British Industry's monthly retail sales balance increased 26 points from a month earlier to -16 in July of 2019 and worse than market expectations of -10. It is the third consecutive month of contraction in retail sales, the longest period of decline since 2011. Orders placed on suppliers also fell for the third consecutive month, but at a slower pace than the previous month. Both sales and orders are anticipated to be broadly flat next month. Grocers were the largest positive contributor to sales growth, reversing a large fall last month. However, this was more than offset by declines in other categories, particularly department stores, clothing and other normal goods. Growth in online sales recovered after flattening out in the year to June. However, growth remains below the long-run average, and is expected to edge lower in the year to August. Wholesalers reported no growth in sales on a year ago, but a small pick-up is expected in the month ahead. Cbi Distributive Trades in the United Kingdom averaged 19.34 Net Balance from 1983 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 72 Net Balance in July of 1984 and a record low of -55 Net Balance in December of 2008.