May 22, 2013

UK retail sales up 0.5% in April 2013: Office of National Statistics

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported a 0.5% increase in UK retail sales volume for the month of April 2013, as compared to the same period in 2012.

By admin-demo

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported a 0.5% increase in UK retail sales volume for the month of April 2013, as compared to the same period in 2012.

Retail sector also witnessed a year-on-year growth of 1.3% in value during the month.

However, both the quantity bought and the amount spent was negatively impacted by a slump in food sector that recorded 3.8% drop against the figures of April 2012.

The drop in the quantity of goods bought is lowest since June 2011, the report stated.

Cold weather is said to have driven the drop in the sector, according to the supermarkets, which added that the harsh weather has restrained sales of spring and summer ranges that also included barbecue items and garden furniture.

The non-seasonally adjusted online sales surged to 10% high that is reported to be due to the continued weather conditions prompting the customers to shop online rather than in-store.

Responding to the sales report of ONS, British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson stated that the figures were down due to Easter falling earlier this year and added that the numbers are better than they look.

"April this year didn’t benefit from an Easter boost as in 2012, so sales look weak by comparison, especially for food which had its worst ever performance," added Dickinson.

On month-on-month basis, both the sales volume and amount spent dropped by 1.3% for April 2013.

Food sector, nevertheless, remained the negative factor for the UK, with 4.1% decrease in quantity of goods bought compared to March 2013.

Amount spent during the same period was down by 3.5%.

"The volatile weather conditions in April made this a mixed month for various retail categories. Demand for new-season clothing and footwear lifted with temperatures towards the end of month, a welcome boost after sales suffered during the lingering wintry weather," suggested Dickinson.

"April was a respectable but not spectacular month for sales – retailers will be hoping that more sunshine and the double Bank Holiday boost lifts May’s figures into more positive territory."