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
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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.

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.

UK consumer price inflation rises

UK consumer price inflation: Nov 2016

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 1.2% in the year to November 2016, compared with a 0.9% rise in the year to October.
  • The rate in November was the highest since October 2014, when it was 1.3%.
  • Rises in the prices of clothing, motor fuels and a variety of recreational and cultural goods and services, most notably data processing equipment, were the main contributors to the increase in the rate.
  • These upward pressures were partially offset by falls in air and sea fares.

UK inflation: slight fall

UK consumer price inflation: Oct 2016 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 0.9% in the year to October 2016, compared with a 1.0% rise in the year to September.
  • Although the rate was slightly lower than in September 2016, it remained higher than the rates otherwise seen since late 2014.
  • The main downward contributors to the change in the rate were prices for clothing and university tuition fees, which rose by less than they did a year ago, along with falling prices for certain games and toys, overnight hotel stays and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • These downward pressures were offset by rising prices for motor fuels, and by prices for furniture and furnishings, which fell by less than they did a year ago.

Inflation rises to 1%

UK consumer price inflation: Sept 2016

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 1.0% in the year to September 2016, compared with a 0.6% rise in the year to August.
  • The rate in September 2016 was the highest since November 2014, when it was also 1.0%.
  • The main upward contributors to change in the rate were rising prices for clothing, overnight hotel stays and motor fuels, and prices for gas, which were unchanged, having fallen a year ago.
  • These upward pressures were partially offset by a fall in air fares and food prices.

Put consumers first in the forthcoming Brexit talks: British Retail Consortium

BRC SAYS UK BREXIT STRATEGY MUST FOCUS ON A FAIR DEAL FOR CONSUMERS

The British Retail Consortium has called on Government negotiators to put consumers first in the forthcoming Brexit talks by ensuring their sights are firmly set on keeping shop prices low once the UK leaves the European Union.

Failure to strike a good Brexit deal by 2019 would have a disproportionately severe impact on retailers and their customers, because if the UK fell back on to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules the new tariff rates that the UK would apply to imports from the EU would be highest for consumer staples like food and clothing.

For example, the average duty on meat imports could be as high as 27%, while clothing and footwear would attract tariffs of 11-16% versus the current zero-rating for all EU imports.

Falling back on to WTO rules would also increase the cost of sourcing from beyond the EU.  The import cost of women’s clothing from Bangladesh would be 12% higher, while Chilean wine would be 14% dearer for importers. This contrasts with duty rates that would apply to raw materials and semi-finished products, many of which would be zero-rated or attract rates of duty of below 10%.