Retail recovery?

Retail sales, Great Britain: June 2020 – ONS

  • In June 2020, the volume of retail sales increased by 13.9% when compared with May 2020 as non-food and fuel stores continue their recovery from the sharp falls experienced since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • The two monthly increases in the volume of retail sales in May and June 2020 have brought total sales to a similar level as before the coronavirus pandemic; however, there is a mixed picture in different store types.
  • In June, while non-food stores and fuel sales show strong monthly growths in the volume of sales at 45.5% and 21.5% respectively, levels have still not recovered from the sharp falls experienced in March and April.
  • Food stores and non-store retailing both reached new high levels since the start of the pandemic, with volume food sales 5.3% higher, and non-store retailing 53.6% higher, than February.
  • In the three months to June, the volume of sales decreased by 9.5% when compared with the previous three months, with declines across all store types except food stores and non-store retailing.
  • The proportion of online spending reduced to 31.8% in June when compared with the record 33.3% reported in May, but is a considerable increase from the 20.0% reported in February.

 

Retail improving but High Streets still struggling

Shoppers are coming back to the high street but the retail sector is still struggling to return to normal

Retail sales rose by 3.4 per cent in June.

Sales grew for the first time since the lockdown was imposed and at their fastest rate since May 2018.

Online sales of non-food items increased by 48.2 per cent in June, up from 3.3 per cent in June 2019 and above the 12-month average growth rate of 17.1 per cent.

In-store sales of non-food items declined by 46.8 per cent. This was worse than the 12-month average of -16.5 per cent.

Over the three months to June, non-food retail sales fell by 15 per cent.

Food retailers performed strongly, with sales rising by 3.8 per cent on an overall basis. This was higher than the 12-month average growth rate of 2.7 per cent.

Consumer Spending: the lowest increase since records began

CONSUMER SPENDING LEFT LANGUISHING: British Retail Consortium (BRC)

Covering the four weeks 30 June – 27 July 2019

  • On a total basis, sales increased by 0.3% in July, against an increase of 1.6% in July 2018. This is the lowest figure recorded for the month of July since BRC records began in 1995 and comes after the worst June on records. This is above the 3-month average of -1.3% but below the 12-month average of 0.5%. This is the lowest 12-month average on records.
  • UK retail sales increased by 0.1% on a like-for-like basis from July 2018, when they had increased 0.5% from the preceding year. This is above the 3-month and 12-month averages of -1.5% and -0.2% respectively.
  • Over the three months to July, in-store sales of Non-Food items declined 4.1% on a Total basis and 4.0% on a like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month Total average decline of 2.6%.
  • Over the three months to July, Food sales decreased 1.0% on a Like-for-like basis and 0.3% on a Total basis. This is below the 12-month Total average growth of 1.8% and the lowest 3-month average since December 2014, excluding Easter distortions.

Inflation falls

Consumer price inflation, UK: February 2018: ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.7% in February 2018, down from 3.0% in January 2018.
  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.5% in February 2018, down from 2.7% in January 2018.
  • The largest downward contributions to the change in the rate came from transport and food prices, which rose by less than a year ago.
  • Falling prices for accommodation services also had a downward effect.
  • Rising prices for footwear produced the largest, partially offsetting, upward contribution.

Inflation on the rise

UK consumer price inflation: May 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs 12-month inflation rate was 2.7% in May 2017, up from 2.6% in April.
  • The rate has been steadily increasing following a period of relatively low inflation in 2015 and is at its highest since April 2012.
  • Rising prices for recreational and cultural goods and services (particularly games, toys and hobbies) was the main contributor to the increase in the rate.
  • There were smaller upward contributions from increased electricity and food prices.
  • These upward contributions were partially offset by falls in motor fuel prices, and air and sea fares, the latter two influenced by the timing of Easter in April this year.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.9% in May 2017, up from 2.7% in April.