Retail sales up – or down depending on how you look at it

Retail Sales, September 2014

  • The quantity bought in the retail industry in September 2014 was estimated to have decreased by 0.3% compared with August 2014. However, it increased by 2.7% compared with September 2013 making this the 18th consecutive month of year-on-year growth. This is the longest period of sustained year-on-year growth since May 2008, when there were 31 periods of growth.
  • The underlying pattern continues to show growth with the rolling three-month on three-month growth rate increasing by 0.3%.  However, this was the slowest growth seen in this measure throughout 2014.
  • In September 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry decreased by 0.6% compared with August 2014.  However, it increased by 1.3% compared with September 2013. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in September 2014 was £6.9 billion compared with £6.8 billion in September 2013 and £6.9 billion in August 2014
  • The proportion of online sales were unchanged in September 2014 compared with August 2014 at 11.4%. Online sales increased by 10.1% compared with September 2013

First decline in spending in food stores in 25 years

Retail Sales, July 2014: ONS

  • In July 2014, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 2.6% compared with July 2013 and by 0.1% compared with June 2014.
  • The three-month on previous three-month movement in the quantity bought showed continued growth for the seventeenth consecutive month increasing by 0.3%.  This was the longest period of sustained growth since November 2007.
  • Average prices of goods sold in July 2014 compared with July 2013 showed deflation of 0.9%. Food stores were the only sector to show an increase in prices (0.2%).  There has been declining growth in this series with July 2014 showing the lowest growth since December 2004, when it fell by 0.1%.  These data are consistent with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) which was published on 19 August 2014.
  • Since the food stores series began in January 1989, July 2014 was the first time we have seen a fall in the amount spent in food stores year-on-year (1.3%).
  • In July 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 1.7% compared with July 2013 and fell by 0.1% compared with June 2014.  Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in July 2014 was £7.0 billion compared with £6.9 billion in July 2013 and £7.0 billion in June 2014.
  • The amount spent online increased by 11.2% in July 2014 compared with July 2013 but decreased by 1.9% compared with June 2014.

Retail Sales increase

Retail Sales, June 2014: ONS

  • In June 2014, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 3.6% compared with June 2013 and by 0.1% compared with May 2014. The quantity bought also increased in Q2 2014 compared with Q2 2013, by 4.5%.
  • The three-month on previous three-month movement in the quantity bought showed continued growth for the sixteenth consecutive period increasing by 1.6%. This is the highest calendar quarter since March 2004 (1.9%) and has been the longest period of sustained growth since November 2007.
  • Following a four month period of disinflation, the average prices of goods sold in June 2014 showed no change compared with June 2013 after a fall of 0.7% in May 2014.
  • In June 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 3.5% compared with June 2013 and by 0.8% compared with May 2014. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in June 2014 was £7.1 billion compared with £6.8 billion in June 2013 and £6.9 billion in May 2014.
  • The amount spent online increased by 13.4% in June 2014 compared with June 2013 and decreased by 0.1% compared with May 2014. Month-on-month this is the first time since January 2014 we have seen a decrease (2.1%).

Retail sales increase – highest year-on-year growth

Retail Sales, April 2014: ONS

  • In April 2014, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 6.9% compared with April 2013 and by 1.3% compared with March 2014. This was the highest year-on-year growth in the quantity bought since May 2004 and continued a pattern of year-on-year growth since early 2013.
  • The underlying pattern, as expressed by the rolling three-month-on-three month growth rate, was one of growth, with the quantity bought increasing by 1.8%.  This was the highest since March 2004 and was the 14th consecutive month of three month-on-three month growth in the quantity bought.
  • With the exception of petrol stations, all stores saw year-on-year increases in sales volumes.  Notably the food sector posted its strongest year-on-year growth since January 2002, increasing by 6.3%. Feedback from food store retailers suggested that a better than expected Easter and better weather conditions helped to boost sales.
  • Food store retailers also suggested that promotions helped to boost sales and this was reflected in the slowing of average price growth in the food sector: consistent with the consumer prices index (CPI) published on 20 May 2014, the rate of food store price inflation decreased to 0.9%, down from 1.8% in March 2014.  Food stores provided the main contribution to the fall in the all retail rate of store price inflation, which fell by 0.6% in April 2014.
  • In April 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 6.2% compared with April 2013 and by 0.6% compared with March 2014.  Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in April 2014 was £7.0 billion compared with £6.5 billion in April 2013 and £6.8 billion in March 2014.
  • Following a weak March, the amount spent online increased by 13.3% in April 2014 compared with April 2013 and by 2.6% compared with March 2014

UK Retail Sales Growth

Retail Sales Monitor, April 2014: BRC

  • UK retail sales were up 4.2% on a like-for-like basis from April 2013, when they had decreased 2.2% on the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales were up 5.7%, against a 0.6% fall in April 2013.
  • The 12-month total sales growth now stands at 2.8%, ahead of the average CPI over the 12 months to March at 2.3%
  • Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 11.2% in April versus a year earlier. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 16.1% in April, the lowest since April 2013.