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.
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