Retail sales quantities up

Retail sales in Great Britain: Apr 2017 – ONS

  • In April 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 2.3% compared with March 2017 and by 4.0% compared with April 2016.
  • The underlying pattern, as measured by the 3 month on 3 month estimate, showed a slight increase in April 2017 following a short period of contraction, increasing by 0.3%.
  • Anecdotal evidence from retailers suggests that good weather contributed to growth.
  • Average prices slowed slightly in April 2017, falling from 3.3% in March to 3.1% in April.

UK inflation highest since 2013

UK consumer price inflation: Apr 2017

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.7% in April 2017, up from 2.3% in March
  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH, not a National Statistic) 12-month inflation rate was 2.6% in April 2017, up from 2.3% in March.
  • The rate has been steadily increasing following a period of relatively low inflation in 2015 and is at its highest since June 2013.
  • Air fares were the main contributors to the increase in the rate in April 2017, although this balanced out a downward effect of similar magnitude in March 2017 and is due to Easter falling later than last year.
  • Rising prices for clothing, vehicle excise duty and electricity also contributed to the increase in the rate.
  • These upward contributions were partially offset by a fall in motor fuel prices between March 2017 and April 2017, compared with a rise between the same 2 months a year ago

Retail sales continue to fall

Retail sales in Great Britain: Mar 2017 – ONS

  • The 3 months to March shows a decrease of 1.4%; the third consecutive decrease for the underlying 3 month on 3 month pattern.
  • Looking at the quarterly movement, the 3 months to March 2017 (Quarter 1) is the first quarterly decline since 2013 (Quarter 4).
  • In March 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry is estimated to have increased by 1.7% compared with March 2016 and decreased by 1.8% compared with February 2017; decreases are seen across the four main store types.
  • Average store prices (including fuel) increased by 3.3% on the year, the largest growth since March 2012; the largest contribution came from petrol stations, where year-on-year average prices rose by 16.4%.
  • Online sales (excluding automotive fuel) increased year-on-year by 19.5% and by 0.5% on the month, accounting for approximately 15.5% of all retail spending

Declining Retail Sales

Retail sales in Great Britain: Feb 2017 – ONS

  • Estimates of the quantity bought in retail sales increased by 3.7% compared with February 2016 and increased by 1.4% compared with January 2017; this monthly growth is seen across all store types.
  • The underlying pattern as suggested by the 3 month on 3 month movement decreased by 1.4% for the second month in a row; the largest decrease since March 2010 and only the second fall since December 2013.
  • Average store prices (including fuel) increased by 2.8% on the year, the largest growth since March 2012; the largest contribution came from petrol stations, where year-on-year average prices rose by 18.7%.
  • Online sales (excluding automotive fuel) increased year-on-year by 20.7% and by 3.3% on the month, accounting for approximately 15.3% of all retail spending.

UK inflation rises

UK consumer price inflation: Feb 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH, not a National Statistic) 12-month inflation rate was 2.3% in February 2017, up from 1.9% in January.
  • The rate in February 2017 was the highest since September 2013, having steadily increased since late 2015.
  • Rising transport costs, particularly for fuel, were the main contributors to the increase in the rate.
  • Prices for food increased by 0.3% between February 2016 and February 2017, following 31 consecutive months of prices falling on the year.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was also 2.3% in February 2017, compared with 1.8% in January.

Inflation highest since June 2014

UK consumer price inflation: Jan 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 1.8% in the year to January 2017, compared with a 1.6% rise in the year to December 2016.
  • The rate in January 2017 was the highest since June 2014.
  • The main contributors to the increase in the rate were rising prices for motor fuels and to a lesser extent food prices, which were unchanged between December 2016 and January 2017, having fallen a year ago.
  • These upward pressures were partially offset by prices for clothing and footwear, which fell by more than they did a year ago.

Growth Steady

Gross domestic product, preliminary estimate: Oct to Dec 2016 – ONS

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to have increased by 0.6% during Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2016, the same rate of growth as in the previous 2 quarters.
  • Growth during Quarter 4 was dominated by services, with a strong contribution from consumer-focused industries such as retail sales and travel agency services.
  • Following falls in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2016, construction and production provided negligible positive contributions to GDP growth in Quarter 4 2016.
  • UK GDP was estimated to have increased by 2.0% during 2016, slowing slightly from 2.2% in 2015 and from 3.1% in 2014.
  • GDP per head was estimated to have increased by 0.4% during Quarter 4 2016 and by 1.3% during 2016.