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 rate falls

UK consumer price inflation: Apr 2016 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 0.3% in the year to April 2016, down from 0.5% in the year to March.
  • From late 2015, the rate began to increase gradually from close to zero. The drop in April 2016 is the first fall since September 2015.
  • Falls in air fares and prices for clothing, vehicles and social housing rent were the main contributors to the decrease in the rate.
  • These downward pressures were partially offset by rising prices for motor fuels and for certain recreational goods and cultural services, and by food prices, which were unchanged between March and April 2016, having fallen between the same two months a year ago.

UK inflation rate remains negative

Consumer Price Inflation, October 2015: ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell by 0.1% in the year to October 2015, the same fall as in the year to September 2015.
  • Upward price pressures for clothing and footwear and a range of recreational goods were offset by downward price pressures for university tuition fees, food, alcohol and tobacco, resulting in no change to the overall rate of inflation.

Retail Sales volume dips

Retail Sales, June 2015: ONS

  • Compared with May 2015, the quantity bought in the retail industry was estimated to have decreased by 0.2%. Falls were reported by predominantly food stores, other stores, household goods stores and petrol stations.
  • Year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry continued to show growth for the 27th consecutive month in June 2015, increasing by 4.0% compared with June 2014. This was the longest period of sustained year-on-year growth since May 2008, when there were 31 periods of growth.
  • The underlying pattern in the data, as suggested by the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought, continued to show growth for the 28th consecutive month, increasing by 0.7%. This is the longest period of sustained growth since consistent records began in June 1996.
  • verage store prices (including petrol stations) fell by 2.9% in June 2015 compared with June 2014. This is the 12th consecutive month of year-on-year price falls with all store types reporting decreases. The largest contribution came once again from petrol stations which fell by 10.0%, the 22nd consecutive month of year-on-year falling prices in this store type.
  • In June 2015, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 0.9% compared with June 2014, but decreased by 0.1% compared with May 2015. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry was £7.1 billion, unchanged from the previous month and the June 2014 figure.
  • The value of sales made online in June 2015 increased by 1.4% compared with May 2015 and accounted for 12.4% of all retail sales. Online sales increased by 11.4% compared with June 2014.

Negative inflation

Consumer Price Inflation, April 2015: ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell by 0.1% in the year to April 2015, compared to no change (0.0%) in the year to March 2015.
  • This is the first time the CPI has fallen over the year since official records began in 1996 and the first time since 1960 based on comparable historic estimates.
  • The largest downward contribution came from transport services – notably air and sea fares, with the timing of Easter this year a likely factor.
  • The Retail Prices Index (not a National Statistic) grew by 0.9% in the year ending April 2015, unchanged from March 2015.

Slow but steady retail sales growth

Retail Sales Monitor, March 2015: BRC-KPMG

  • UK retail sales increased by 3.2% on a like-for-like basis from March 2014, when they had decreased 1.7% on the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales were up 4.7%, against a 0.3% fall in March 2014. Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index deflation, total growth was 6.8%. The figures are flattered by the inclusion of Easter in March this year against April last year.
  • Total Food sales experienced their strongest growth since July 2013, helped by the Easter distortion. Growth was also strong in the home categories but subdued in the fashion ones.
  • Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 12.3% in March versus a year earlier, when it had grown 12.8%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 17.6%, up from 16.9% in March 2014


UK’s inflation rate remained at a record low

Consumer Price Indices, March 2015: ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was unchanged in the year to March 2015, that is, a 12-month rate of 0.0%, the same rate as in the year to February 2015.
  • Falls in clothing and gas prices produced the largest downward contributions to change in the inflation rate.
  • These were offset by a rise in the price of motor fuels and smaller upward contributions from a variety of other products such as food.