UK Statistics

Statistical bulletin: Retail Sales, March 2015

Released: 23 April 2015 – Download PDF


Main Points

  • Year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry continued to show growth for the 24th consecutive month in March 2015, increasing by 4.2% compared with March 2014. This was the longest period of sustained year-on-year growth since May 2008 when there were 31 periods of growth.
  • The underlying pattern in the data as suggested by the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought continued to show growth for the 25th consecutive month, increasing by 0.9%. This equals the longest period of sustained growth since November 2007 when there were also 25 periods of consecutive growth.
  • On the month, the quantity bought decreased by 0.5% compared with February 2015. The largest decrease was reported by petrol stations which fell by 6.2%.
  • Average store prices (including petrol stations) fell for the 9th consecutive month, falling by 3.1% compared with March 2014. The largest contribution to the year-on-year fall once again came from petrol stations which fell by 12.8% and is the 19th consecutive month of year-on-year falling prices in this store type.
  • In March 2015, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 0.7% compared with March 2014 but decreased by 0.3% compared with February 2015. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry was £6.9 billion, compared with £6.7 billion in March 2014 and £6.6 billion in February 2015.
  • The value of sales made online decreased by 0.8% compared with February 2015 and accounted for 11.7% of all retail sales in March 2015. Online sales increased by 10.3% compared with March 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 March 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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