Growth

Gross Domestic Product Preliminary Estimate, Q1 2014

  • GDP increased by 0.8% in Q1 2014 compared with growth of 0.7% in Q4 2013.
  • Output increased in three of the four main industrial groupings within the economy in Q1 2014 compared with Q4 2013.
  • In Q1 2014 GDP was estimated to be 0.6% below the peak in Q1 2008. From peak to trough in 2009, the economy shrank by 7.2%.
  • GDP was 3.1% higher in Q1 2014 compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Retail Sales – non-food up, food stores down

Retail Sales, March 2014: ONS

  • In March 2014, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 4.2% compared with March 2013 and by 0.1% compared with February 2014.
  • The quantity bought also increased in Q1 2014 compared with Q1 2013, by 3.8%. This continues a pattern of year-on-year growth since early 2013.
  • Non-food stores saw the highest year-on-year increase (9.6%) since April 2002.  This may partly reflect the negative effect of the very cold weather a year earlier, which was the second coldest March on record, in contrast to the warm weather in March 2014.
  • Food stores, however, saw the largest year-on-year decrease (2.3%) since April 2013 (2.9%).
  • In March 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 3.9% compared with March 2013 and by 0.3% compared with February 2014.  Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in March 2014 was £6.7 billion compared with £6.6 billion in March 2013 and £6.5 billion in February 2014.
  • Average prices of goods sold in March 2014 showed deflation of 0.5%; fuel once again provided the greatest contribution, falling by 5.8%.
  • The amount spent online increased by 7.1% in March 2014 compared with March 2013 and by 1.4% compared with February 2014.

March footfall higher

Footfall Monitor, March 2014: BRC

  • Footfall in March was 1.8% higher than a year ago, significantly up on the 2.9% fall in February and above the three-month average of 0.4%.
  • Footfall on the high street was 2.6% higher than the previous year for March, the largest rise in eleven months
  • Out-of-Town reported the greatest rise, 3.0% higher than a year ago, while footfall in shopping centers was down 0.5% on the previous year.

(Unfortunately, it looks like Easter was quieter than we all hoped)

UK retail sales down

UK retail sales, March 2014: BRC

  • UK retail sales were down 1.7% on a like-for-like basis from March 2013, when they had increased 1.9% on the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales were down 0.3%, against a 3.7% increase in March 2013.
  • The 3-month average total growth was 2.1%, just below the 12-month trend of 2.4%.
  • Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 12.8% in March versus a year earlier.
    • The online penetration rate achieved 17.3% in March.
    • Excluding online sales, total Non-food sales would have shown a decline in March.