Dip in sales growth

Distributive Trades Survey: CBI

  • Retail sales were broadly flat in the year to February and orders placed upon suppliers fell
  • The survey of 138 firms including 62 retailers showed that both volume of retail sales and orders failed to meet expectations of growth in February, following six months of very buoyant sales
  • 30% of respondents reported that sales volumes were up on a year ago, while 29% said they were down, giving a balance of +1%, significantly below expectations (+42%) and the lowest since November 2013 (+1%)
  • The volume of orders placed upon suppliers fell (-7%), disappointing expectations of growth (+12%), but firms do anticipate a rise next month (+18%)
  • Volumes of sales for the time of year in February fell below seasonal norms (-5%), to the greatest extent since January 2014
  • Employment fell on a year ago (-21%), with a broadly similar fall in headcount expected next month (-19%)
  • Retailers still expect a moderate improvement in their business situation over the next three months.
  • The volume of internet sales rose (+47%) at a pace broadly in line with expectations (+49%)

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 – 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.

European retail trade volume

European retail trade volume, March 2014:  Eurostat

  • In March 2014 compared with February 2014, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.3% in both the euro area (EA18) and the EU28
  • In February retail trade increased by 0.1% and 0.3% respectively
  • In March 2014 compared with March 2013 the retail sales index increased by 0.9% in the euro area and by 1.6%  in the EU28

Retail Sales – non-food up, food stores down

Retail Sales, March 2014: ONS

  • In March 2014, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 4.2% compared with March 2013 and by 0.1% compared with February 2014.
  • The quantity bought also increased in Q1 2014 compared with Q1 2013, by 3.8%. This continues a pattern of year-on-year growth since early 2013.
  • Non-food stores saw the highest year-on-year increase (9.6%) since April 2002.  This may partly reflect the negative effect of the very cold weather a year earlier, which was the second coldest March on record, in contrast to the warm weather in March 2014.
  • Food stores, however, saw the largest year-on-year decrease (2.3%) since April 2013 (2.9%).
  • In March 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 3.9% compared with March 2013 and by 0.3% compared with February 2014.  Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in March 2014 was £6.7 billion compared with £6.6 billion in March 2013 and £6.5 billion in February 2014.
  • Average prices of goods sold in March 2014 showed deflation of 0.5%; fuel once again provided the greatest contribution, falling by 5.8%.
  • The amount spent online increased by 7.1% in March 2014 compared with March 2013 and by 1.4% compared with February 2014.