Good weather improves UK high street sales according to ONS


  • Author: Melanie Richard and Statistics Views
  • Date: 19 August 2013
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStockPhoto

The Office for National Statistics has released the latest figures on retail sales, and compared to last July, estimates of retail sales for this July showed continued growth in the rate of spending by customers with the recent hot weather considered to be the main reason. Supermarkets and retail outlets have reported boosts in sales of food, alcohol, summer clothing, barbecues and garden furniture.

thumbnail image: Good weather improves UK high street sales according to ONS

Compared with a year ago (July 2013 compared with July 2012) the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 3.0%. The main sources of upward pressure came from the predominantly food and non-store retailing sectors.

Within the food sector, the quantity bought in July 2013 increased by 2.1% compared with July 2012. This was the highest increase since April 2011. Feedback from supermarkets suggested that the sunny weather boosted sales across a range of products including food for barbecues, alcohol, summer clothing and outdoor items for gardens and picnics.

Looking at the monthly picture (July 2013 compared with June 2013), the quantity bought increased by 1.1%. Again, there was strong growth in supermarket sales with a rise of 2.5%. In July 2013, the prices of goods sold in the retail industry rose by 1.8% compared with July 2012. This was mainly due to increases in the prices of goods sold in the food sector. This is consistent with the latest Consumer Prices Index (CPI) release for July 2013. In July 2013, the estimated weekly spend across all retailing averaged £7.0 billion, up from £6.8 billion in June 2013 and £6.7 billion in July 2012.

With warmer conditions set to return this week, it’s likely we could see another peak in high street sales.

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