Retail sales on the up
19th May 2017
Retail sales increased by 2.3 per cent on the previous month in April, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics.
Sales were also up by 4 per cent compared to April 2016. Anecdotal evidence from retailers suggests good weather was a factor in the increase.
After a three year period of strong growth (2013 to 2016), the quantity bought in the retail sector started to fall at the end of 2016. The April 2017 results show a slight return to growth, but due to the volatile and seasonal nature of retail, it is too early to say whether the results indicate an underlying pattern of growth.
Over the last 12 months, all retailer types have seen growth with the exception of department stores. Department stores have seen a decrease in the quantity bought, whilst the amount spent increased, which coincides with price increases in the sector. Overall, average store prices have seen year-on-year growth across all sectors.
Spending online continues to increase, with average weekly spending online in April at £1 billion; an increase of 19 per cent compared with April 2016. The amount spent online accounted for 15.6 per cent of all retail spending, compared with 14 per cent in April 2016.
Here at Punchline, we're cautiously optimistic about these results. With continued political uncertainty around Brexit, the general election and the value of the pound, we know things could change very quickly.
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