News Retail Sales Up On Last Year



Retail sales up on last year
4th November 2019

By Karen Pickwick

Both the value and the volume of retail sales in September this year showed strong growth compared with the same period in 2018 at 3.3% and 3.1% respectively.

In fact, according to the Monthly Business Survey from the Office for National Statistics, the only measure to show a decline was the monthly growth rate, which fell by just 0.2% in the amount spent and was flat on the month (0%) in the quantity bought.

Comparing the three months to September with the previous three months, the amount spent increased by 1.0%, while the quantity bought increased by 0.6%.


Looking at the three-month on three-month movement, from September 2016 sales were increasing at a steady rate until the beginning of 2017 when a short period of contraction was seen in the three months to March 2017. From April 2017, sales began to recover and increase steadily, although at a slower rate. From January 2018, the quantity bought began to level for a short period until May 2018, when a faster rate of growth was seen during the summer of 2018. This was partly attributed to consecutive months of hot weather, as sales in the three months to June, July and August 2018 increased by 2.1%, 2.6% and 2.1% respectively. Slow growth followed for a period from October 2018 to February 2019.

The monthly growth rate of 1.2% in March 2019 resulted in a stronger rate of growth in the three-month on three-month movement for three consecutive months from March to May 2019. This slowed to 0.6% in June 2019 as the growth in March 2019 falls into the previous three months.