UK Statistics

Statistical bulletin: Retail Sales, May 2015

Released: 18 June 2015 – Download PDF


Main Points

  • Continuing a sustained period of year-on-year growth, the volume of retail sales in May 2015 are estimated to have increased by 4.6% compared with May 2014. This was the 26th consecutive month of year-on-year growth, the longest period of sustained 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 27th consecutive month, increasing by 0.6%. This is the longest period of sustained growth since consistent records began in June 1996.
  • On the month, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 0.2% compared with April 2015. There was growth in predominantly food stores, other non-food stores, household goods stores and petrol stations. 
  • Average store prices (including petrol stations) fell by 2.7% in May 2015 compared with May 2014. This is the 11th consecutive month of year-on-year price falls. The largest contribution once again came from petrol stations which fell by 10.2%, the 21st consecutive month of year-on-year falling prices in this store type. 
  • In May 2015, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 1.8% compared with May 2014 and by 0.2% compared with April 2015. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry was £7.1 billion compared with £6.9 billion in April 2015 and £7.0 billion in May 2014.
  • The value of sales made online in May 2015 decreased by 2.1% compared with April 2015 and accounted for 12.0% of all retail sales. Online sales increased by 7.4% compared with May 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 May 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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