ONS: Retail sales rise in March

Retail sales volumes rose 4.2% in March compared with a year earlier and were 0.1% higher in March than in February, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

ONS: Retail sales rise in March

The ONS March retail sales statistical bulletin said the results may partly reflect the negative effect of the very cold weather a year earlier, which was the second coldest March on record, in contrast to the warm weather in March 2014. Non-food stores saw the highest year-on-year increase (9.6%) since April 2002. Food stores, however, saw the largest year-on-year decrease (2.3%) since April 2013.

In March 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry lifted 3.9% compared with March 2013 and by 0.3% compared with February 2014. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in March 2014 was £6.7 billion against £6.6 billion in March 2013 and £6.5 billion in February 2014.

The amount spent online climbed by 7.1% in March 2014 compared with March 2013 and by 1.4% compared with February 2014. Average prices of goods sold in March 2014 showed deflation of 0.5%.

The bulletin presents estimates of the quantity bought (volume) and amount spent (value) in the retail industry for the period March 2 to April 5. The figures are estimates based on a monthly survey of 5,000 retailers, including all large retailers employing 100 people or more.

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