UK Statistics

Statistical bulletin: Retail Sales, January 2015

Released: 20 February 2015 – Download PDF


Key Points

  • Continuing a sustained period of year-on-year growth, retail sales in January 2015 were estimated to have increased by 5.4% compared with January 2014. This is the 22nd consecutive month of year-on-year growth and the longest period of sustained year-on-year growth since May 2008 when there were 31 periods of growth.
  • The underlying pattern in the rolling three-month on three-month movement in the quantity bought showed continued growth for the 23rd consecutive month, increasing by 2.3%. This was the strongest growth since April 2002 when the quantity bought grew by 2.5% and was the longest period of sustained growth since November 2007 when there were 25 periods of consecutive growth.
  • Compared with December 2014, the quantity bought in the retail industry was estimated to have decreased by 0.3%. There was a significant increase in the quantity bought in petrol stations and department stores but this did not negate the downwards pressure from predominantly food stores, textile, clothing and footwear and other stores.
  • Average store prices fell by 3.1% in January 2015 compared with January 2014. This was the largest year-on-year fall since consistent records began in 1997. The largest contribution to the year-on-year fall once again came from petrol stations which fell by 15.1%, the largest year-on-year fall in this store type on record.
  • In January 2015, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 2.3% compared with January 2014 and fell by 1.0% compared with December 2014. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in January 2015 was £6.5 billion, compared with £6.3 billion in January 2014 and £9.0 billion in December 2014.
  • The value of Internet sales decreased by 0.2% in January 2015 compared with December 2014 and accounted for 11.6% of all retail sales in January 2015. Online sales increased by 12.0% compared with January 2014.
  • Revisions in this release were caused by the incorporation of late data. The earliest revisions point for current price, non-seasonally adjusted data was January 2014. 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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