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UK retail recovery confirmed and underway

A tentative retail recovery is underway in the UK after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed UK sales growth.

The figures were first seen in the British Retail Consortium-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor earlier this month.

The total value of sales growth reported by the ONS, which is not seasonally adjusted, was 4 per cent in June compared with 3.7 per cent a year ago. The figures outstripped the BRC’s own figures, released on 9 July, which showed total growth of 2.9 per cent. In May the growth rate was 3.9 per cent.

British Retail Consortium Director General, Helen Dickinson, said: “This offers further evidence that tentative signs of a consumer-led recovery are beginning to take hold. Although there are wide variations in individual retailers’ fortunes and on-going volatility from week to week, it’s good news that the ONS figures confirm cautious optimism as they reflect the results of the BRC’s Retail Sales Monitor earlier in July.”

In June 2013, prices of goods sold in the textile, clothing, footwear and the food sector rose from 1 per cent to 1.7 per cent compared with June 2012. There was strong growth in sales in department stores with a rise of 3 per cent which was the highest rise since March 2012. The quantity bought in the retail sector also increased by 2.2 per cent.

Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said ‘today’s figures will provide retailers with confidence’. He said that the strong year-on-year increases were all the more impressive considering last June’s sales were boosted by the Queen’s Jubilee’s celebrations. “The weather will have lifted consumers’ spirits and willingness to spend, as will a recent series of positive economic indicators including increased housing activity, stable inflation and a small rise in lending. Whilst the sound of sleigh bells is still some way off, figures are beginning to point in the right direction for the all-important golden quarter.”

Source: Michael Somerville
Retail Gazette

18 July 2013
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