The latest data on retail sales shows that growth within the retail sector continues to grow says the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The latest ONS bulletin contains seasonally adjusted estimates of the quantity bought (volume) and amount spent (value) in the retail industry for the period 25 August 2013 to 28 September 2013 based on a monthly survey of 5,000 retailers (including all large retailers employing 100 people or more).
The results are an important early indicator of how the economy is performing and the strength of consumer spending.
The key points from the report are:
• ONS estimates of retail sales continue to show growth in the retail industry. In September 2013 the quantity bought increased by 2.2% compared with September 2012 and by 0.6% compared with August 2013. With three month-on-three month growth rates increasing for seven consecutive months these estimates show an underlying trend of growth in the retail industry.
• Quarter-on-quarter, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 1.5%. This is the largest quarter-on-quarter rise since March 2008 when the economy as a whole was at its peak, before the economic downturn.
• Of the four main retail sectors, non-food stores and non-store retailing saw an increase in the quantity bought in September 2013 compared with September 2012, with increases of 3.6% and 19.1% respectively. Food stores and petrol stations (including supermarket petrol stations) saw falls in the quantity bought of 0.6% and 2.4% respectively over the same period.
• The amount spent in the retail industry continued to increase, in September 2013 the amount spent increased by 3.2% compared with September 2012 and by 0.5% compared with August 2013. Non-seasonally adjusted data show the average weekly spend in September 2013 was £6.8 billion.
• Store price inflation as measured by the implied price deflator showed that price increases in the retail industry continued to slow, with average prices increasing 0.9% year on year compared with 1.6% in August 2013.