UK retail sales volumes rose 4.3% year-over-year in January, driven by 8% growth in non-food stores; amount spent online increased 8.9%: Office for National Statistics

LONDON , February 21, 2014 (press release) – Year-on- year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry showed strong growth for the second consecutive month in January 2014, increasing by 4.3%. With store price inflation growth, as measured by the implied price deflator, slowing to 0.2% (the lowest since September 2009), the amount spent in January 2014 increased by 4.4% compared with January 2013.

Year-on-year there was notable growth in non-food stores (8.0%), where; stores selling household goods increased by 9.8%, the largest year-on-year increase in these stores since July 2007 and; other goods stores increased by 14.8%. However, the growth experienced by both store types was in part a consequence of a weak January 2013 where heavy snowfall during the latter part of this month could have affected sales.

Looking at the short term picture, the quantity bought in the retail industry fell by 1.5% compared with December 2013. The amount spent decreased by 1.8% in the same period. It must be remembered that month-on-month growth in December 2013 was particularly strong at 2.5%.

The longer time series shown in figure 1 of the at a glance section of this bulletin, highlights how despite this month on month fall the quantity bought in the retail industry still remains high. The underlying trend in the data as suggested by the three month-on-three month movement increased by 1.1% confirming growth in the retail industry.

The amount spent online showed a similar pattern to the amount spent in store. Compared with January 2013 the amount spent online increased by 8.9% but fell by 3.3% compared with December 2013.

The trading period for January covered 29 December 2013 to 1 February 2014 and thus accounted for five weeks. All figures in this bulletin are based on average weekly sales unless otherwise stated.

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