Business NewsUK Statistics

Retail Sales Statistics – Great Britain – January 2018

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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 for total retail sales
  5. Retail sales by store type
  6. Month-on-month contributions to growth by four main sectors
  7. Year-on-year contributions to growth by four main retail sectors
  8. A focus on food and non-food stores
  9. What is happening in other non-food stores as the main contribution to non-food stores?
  10. What’s the story in online sales?
  11. Links to related statistics
  12. Quality and methodology
  13. What’s new in this release?

Main points

  • In January 2018, the underlying pattern in retail sales, as suggested by the three-month on three-month measure, is one of slow growth with the quantity bought increasing by 0.1%; the lowest growth since April 2017.
  • The monthly growth rate for the quantity bought increased by 0.1% with declines across all main sectors except non-food stores.
  • When compared with January 2017, the quantity bought in January 2018 increased by 1.6%; a slowdown to year-on-year growth when compared with an increase of 2.4% in January 2017.
  • The main contribution to the year-on-year growth came from non-food stores, with sports equipment, games and toys increasing sales in the quantity bought in this sector by 10.9%.
  • Feedback from retailers suggested that New Year’s resolutions to “get fit and lose weight” contributed to this increase of sales when compared with the previous year.
  • The year-on-year growth rate for quantity bought in food stores showed a decline for the sixth consecutive month at negative 0.9%, due largely to a continued rise in food store prices.

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 31 December 2017 to 27 January 2018.

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.

Summary information can be found in the RSI Quality and Methodology Information report.

 Download Full Report as PDF 

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


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