Business NewsUK Statistics

Retail sales, Great Britain: September 2017

Main points

  • The underlying pattern in the retail industry is one of growth; for the three-months on three-months measure, the quantity bought increased by 0.6%.
  • In September 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry decreased by 0.8% when compared with August 2017; non-food stores provided the greatest downward pressure following growth in August 2017.
  • Year on year, the quantity bought in the retail sector increased by 1.2%, with non-food (household goods, clothing stores) and non-store retailing all providing growth.
  • Store prices continue to rise across all store types and are at their highest year-on-year price growth since March 2012 at 3.3% (non-seasonally adjusted).
  • Online sales values increased year-on-year by 14%, accounting for approximately 17% of all retail spending.

Statistician’s comment

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

“September’s retail sales saw a monthly decline of 0.8%, reversing August’s growth. However, there is a continuation of the underlying trend of steady growth in sales volumes following a weak start to the year, and a background of generally rising prices.

These increased costs are reflected in the more rapid growth in the amount spent when compared with the quantity bought.”

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 27 August 2017 to 30 September 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 an important 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.

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

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