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News : UK Economy Last Updated: Feb 18, 2011 - 11:04 AM

UK retail sales volume grew by 1.9% in January - - underlying trend lower
By Finfacts Team
Feb 18, 2011 - 11:00 AM

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Retail Sales Patterns affected by snow & VAT

UK retail sales volume grew by 1.9% in January compared with December and 5.3% compared with January 2010.

However, the Office for National Statistics said today that the monthly pattern of retail sales has been affected by the extremely bad weather in both January 2010 and December 2010, and changes to the VAT rate in both years (VAT increased from 15% to 17.5% on January 01 2010 and from 17.5% to 20% on January 01 2011).

The month on month growth of 1.9% in January followed a decline in retail sales volume of 1.4% in December. The ONS said the underlying picture may therefore be better considered by noting that in the two months taken together, sales increased by 0.5%.

Year on year, the volume of retail sales in January 2011 was 5.3% higher than in January 2010. Predominantly food stores decreased by 2.3%, the 12th consecutive fall. Predominantly non-food stores increased by 9.5% with rises across all sectors in this area. Other stores saw the largest rise at 15.8%, driven by computers and telecommunications equipment and sporting goods and toys, followed by non-specialised stores at 10.7%. Non-store retailing increased by 22.1%, a record in this series and automotive fuel increased by 6.0%.

Between December 2010 and January 2011 total sales volume increased by 1.9%. Predominantly food stores increased by 0.3% while predominantly non-food stores increased by 2.4%. Within predominantly non-food stores, all sectors saw rises apart from other stores which decreased by 1.0%. The largest rise was non-specialised stores at 5.7%, a record for the series. Non-store retailing and automotive fuel increased by 2.7% and 6.1% respectively.

The seasonally adjusted value of retail sales for January 2011 was 8.2% higher than in January 2010. For the three months to January 2011, it was 4.0% higher than the same period a year earlier.

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