The Confederation of British Industry’s monthly balance of retail sales, which compares volumes with a year ago, fell to -44 in August from -25 in July. Expectations for the month ahead improved to -21 from -32, but were still deeply negative.
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“Against a backdrop of rising interest rates and weak demand, retailers foresee cuts to investment over the next year, while employment is expected to fall again next month,” CBI economist Martin Sartorius said, referring to quarterly data published in the survey this month.
Drought-hit Panama Canal to restrict access
AFP – The drought-hit Panama Canal will maintain restrictions on the passage of ships for one year, a measure that has already led to a marine traffic jam as boats line up to enter the crucial waterway linking two oceans, the canal’s sub-administrator Ilya Espino said.
The canal is facing a shortage of rainwater to transfer ships through a series of locks that function like water elevators, an engineering marvel that moves six percent of the world’s maritime commerce between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Espino said that unless heavy rains fall in the next three months, “we are looking at a period of one year” of restricted access.