UK Statistics

Statistical bulletin: Retail Sales, December 2014

Released: 23 January 2015 – Download PDF


Key Points

  • Year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry showed growth in December 2014, increasing by 4.3% compared with December 2013. This is the 21st consecutive month of year-on-year growth. Comparing the 12 months of 2014 with the 12 months of 2013 the quantity bought increased by 3.8% compared with 2013.
  • The underlying pattern in the data as suggested by the three-month on three-month movement in the quantity bought continued to show growth for the 22nd consecutive month increasing by 2.3% and was the strongest growth since April 2002 when it was 2.5%. This was the longest period of sustained growth since November 2007 when there were 25 periods of consecutive growth.
  • On the month, the quantity bought increased by 0.4% compared with November 2014 following an increase in November of 1.6%. Some stores experienced better sales in November 2014 as a result of ‘Black Friday’ which may have reduced sales in December 2014.
  • Average store prices fell by 2.2% in December 2014 compared with December 2013. This was the largest fall since June 2002 when prices fell by 2.5%. The biggest contribution to the year-on-year fall once again came from petrol stations which fell by 9.7%, this was the largest year-on-year fall in this store type since July 2009 when it fell by 13.7%. Petrol prices are at their lowest level since October 2009 and diesel prices at their lowest since March 2010.
  • In December 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 1.9% compared with December 2013 and by 0.2% compared with November 2014. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in December 2014 was £9.0 billion compared with £8.9 billion in December 2013 and £7.9 billion in November 2014.
  • The value of Internet sales decreased by 2.8% compared with November 2014, the largest fall since August 2012 when it fell by 7.1% and accounted for 11.3% of all retail sales in December 2014. Online sales increased by 8.0% compared with December 2013.
  • Revisions in this release were caused by the incorporation of late data. The earliest revisions point for current price, non-seasonally adjusted data was December 2013. More information on revisions can be found in the background notes.

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

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