Business NewsUK IntelligenceUK Statistics

Retail sales in Great Britain: Jan 2017

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Table of contents

  1. Main points
  2. Statistician’s comment 
  3. Things you need to know about this release 
  4. Main figures 
  5. Focus on predominantly food stores 
  6. Year-on-year contribution 
  7. Month-on-month contribution 
  8. What’s the story in online sales?
  9. Links to related statistics 
  10. What has changed in this publication?
  11. Quality and methodology


Main points

  • In January 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry is estimated to have increased by 1.5% compared with January 2016, the lowest growth since November 2013.
  • Month-on-month the quantity bought is estimated to have fallen by 0.3%.
  • The underlying pattern as suggested by the 3 month on 3 month movement decreased by 0.4%; the first fall since December 2013.
  • Average store prices (including fuel) increased by 1.9% on the year, the largest contribution to this increase came from petrol stations, where year-on-year average prices were estimated to have risen by 16.1%.
  • Online sales (excluding fuel) increased by 10.1% year-on-year, but fell on the month by 7.2%; accounting for approximately 14.6% of all retail spending.
Statistician’s comment 

Commenting on today’s official retail figures, Kate Davies, ONS Senior Statistician said:

“In the three months to January, retail sales saw the first signs of a fall in the underlying trend since December 2013. We have seen falls in month-on-month seasonally adjusted retail sales, both in conventional stores and online, and the evidence suggests that increased prices in fuel and food are significant factors in this slowdown.”

Things you need to know about this release 

This bulletin presents estimates of the quantity bought (volume) and amount spent (value) in the retail industry for the period 1 January 2017 to 28 January 2017. Unless otherwise stated, the estimates in this release are seasonally adjusted.

The Retail Sales Index (RSI) measures the value and volume of retail sales in Great Britain on a monthly basis. Data are collected from businesses in the retail industry and the survey’s results are used to produce seasonally adjusted monthly, quarterly and annual estimates of output in the retail industry at current price and at chained volume measures (removing the effect of inflation). Unless otherwise stated all estimates included in this release are based on seasonally adjusted data.

The RSI is a key economic indicator and one of the earliest short-term measures of economic activity. It is used in the compilation of the national accounts and widely used by private and public sector institutions, particularly by the Bank of England and Her Majesty’s Treasury to assist in informed decision and policy making.


Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.1.0.


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