Business NewsUK Statistics

Retail Sales Report – Great Britain October 2017

Main points

  • The underlying pattern in the retail industry in October 2017, as suggested by the three-month on three-month measure is one of growth, with the quantity bought increasing by 0.9%.
  • The quantity bought in October 2017 increased by 0.3% compared with September 2017; non-food stores, in particular second-hand goods stores (charity shops, auction houses, antiques and fine art dealers) provided the largest contribution to this growth.
  • The longer-term picture as shown by the year-on-year growth rate shows the quantity bought fell by 0.3% in comparison with a strong October 2016; food stores provided the largest contribution to this fall.
  • Average store prices increased by 3.1% compared with October 2016, with the largest contribution from food stores where average prices rose by 3.5%, the largest year-on-year price increase since September 2013.
  • Online sales values increased year-on-year by 10.7%, accounting for approximately 16.9% of all retail spending.

Statistician’s comment

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

“We are continuing to see an underlying picture of steady growth in retail sales, although this October suffered in comparison with a very strong October in 2016.

Growth month-on-month in October was particularly strong in the second-hand goods sector, which includes auction houses and antique dealers.”

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 October 2017 to 28 October 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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