Scotland retail sales increase in first quarter of 2012

3 May 2012 (Last Updated May 3rd, 2012 02:00)

Scottish retail sales increased marginally in the first three months of this year, according to data released by the government of Scotland.

Growth

Scottish retail sales increased marginally in the first three months of this year, according to the data released by the government of Scotland.

In the first quarter of 2012, seasonally adjusted retail sales volume grew 0.7%, while there was a 0.9% gain in the value of sales.

The government’s Retail Sales Index showed year-on-year growth of 0.6% by volume, compared with a 0.4% gain for the UK as a whole.

On an annual basis, the value of Scottish retail sales increased 3% at current prices during the period, when adjusted for seasonal variations.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said the official figures show that retail sales volume is on an upward trend again, after remaining flat over the past two years.

"The 0.7% increase in volume this quarter follows a 0.9% rise in the final quarter of last year," Swinney said.

"The volume of retail sales also grew 0.6% annually, faster than retail sales volume for GB (Britain) as a whole, which grew by 0.4% over the same period.

"This expansion is welcome but the sector continues to face challenging conditions.

"The Scottish economy is showing some positive signs. It outperformed the UK over the last quarter of 2011 and we have also seen a drop in unemployment.

"Employment in Scotland is higher than the UK as a whole, and unemployment is lower."

Last month, a survey by Scottish Retail Consortium suggested sales increased to their best overall performance for nearly a year, boosted by record-breaking temperatures in March.

Retail sales volume, at basic prices, grew 0.9% in Great Britain in the first quarter of 2012 and rose 0.4% annually on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Great Britain’s value of retail sales, on seasonally adjusted basis, was up 1% in the first three months of this year and climbed 3.2% annually.

Image: The government’s Retail Sales Index showed year-on-year growth of 0.6% by volume, compared with a 0.4% gain for the UK as a whole. Photo: watcharakun