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.

Footfall figures less gloomy

Footfall and Vacancies Monitor: BRC-Springboard

  • Footfall in February was only 0.5% lower than a year ago, an improvement on the 1.2% fall in January
  • This is above the three-month average of -0.8% and best overall footfall performance since May 2014
  • Footfall in out-of-town locations fared the best with a 1.0% increase year-on-year
  • Four regions and countries reported footfall lower than a year ago, with Wales and Greater London reporting the greatest declines