UK retail sales values index up 0.4 per cent in April

However, retail sales volumes decline by 1.1 per cent.

New Statesman
Shoppers carrying sale bags in London. Credit: Getty Images.

The all retail sales values index in the UK increased by 0.4 per cent in April 2012 compared to same period last year and decreased by 2.8 per cent compared with last month, according to the figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Retail sales volumes decreased by 1.1 per cent compared with April 2011. This is the largest fall in sales volume year-on-year growth since August 2011 when sales volumes fell by 1.2 per cent.

The slowdown in sales values and the contraction in sales volumes growth was driven by predominantly food stores, predominantly automotive fuel stores and textile, clothing and footwear stores.

Compared to April 2011, predominantly food stores sales volumes decreased by 3.5 per cent, while predominantly non-food stores sales volumes grew by 0.8 per cent.

Store price inflation slowed to 1.7 per cent, its lowest rate since November 2009. The consumer prices index slowed to 3 per cent in April from 3.5 per cent in March.

Average prices showed deflation of 0.4 per cent in the year to April 2012, a switch from price inflation of 0.5 per cent in the year to March 2012.
Internet average weekly sales values (non-seasonally adjusted) were estimated increased to be £489m, an increase of by 18.1 per cent compared to April 2011.

Textile, clothing and footwear stores sales volumes fell by 7.5 per cent when compared with April 2011. This sector saw price inflation of 2.2 per cent during the month. The estimated average weekly sales were £0.7bn; of this, 8.5 per cent of sales (£63.7m) were made via the internet.

Household goods stores sales volumes rose by 3.6 per cent in April 2012 compared with April 2011, the largest rise since January 2011 (6.9 per cent). The estimated average weekly sales were £0.6bn; of this, 5.9 per cent of sales (£34.4m) were made via the internet.

The average weekly value of internet sales in April 2012 (non-seasonally adjusted) is estimated to be £489m, up from £485.4m in March 2012.
The retail sales index (RSI), which measures spending (value) and volume of retail sales, is derived from a monthly survey of 5,000 businesses in Great Britain.