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Trend in retail sales remains up despite fallBack

ONSCommenting on the retail sales for October 2013, published this week by the Office of National Statistics, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“Monthly retail sales figures tend to be erratic, but this doesn’t hide the fact that this was a disappointing fall. The sector is undergoing structural changes, with online sales now at 10.5% (excluding car fuel) and rising. However longer term comparisons show a solid pace of growth at just under 2% per year.

“This fall is a reminder that even though the economy will continue growing, the recovery is not yet secure. The government must play its part in creating a climate that encourages businesses to create wealth and expand, such as by improving access to finance for growing firms.”

• Year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry continue to show growth – In October 2013, the quantity bought increased by 1.8% compared with October 2012. On the month the quantity bought decreased by 0.7%. Despite this fall, the underlying pattern in the data as suggested by the three month on three month movement is flat, following a sustained seven month period of growth.
• Of the four main retail sectors non-food stores and non-store retailing provided the upwards contributions to the year-on-year growth increasing by 2.7% and 16.3% respectively. Food stores and petrol stations saw falls in the quantity bought of 0.3% and 2.4% respectively.
• The amount spent in the retail industry in October 2013 increased by 2.5% compared with October 2012 but fell by 0.7% compared with September 2013. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in October 2013 was £6.9 billion.
• The annual increase in the prices of goods sold in the retail industry slowed from an increase of 0.9% in September to 0.7% in October. Consistent with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), the automotive fuel sector provided the largest contribution to this change with the prices of goods sold in this sector falling by 3.5%, the largest fall in the price of goods sold in this sector since September 2009. Excluding automotive fuel the prices of goods sold increased by 1.3% in October 2013.

Posted by Leana Kell on 17/11/2013