UK retail sales up 5.7 per cent in March

Warm weather encouraged shoppers to buy more.

A man carries Tesco shopping bags in Birkenhead. Credit: Getty Images

 

Seasonally adjusted total retail sales in the UK totalled £34.19bn in March – an increase of 5.7 per cent, compared to £32.35bn for the same period last year, according to a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Food stores and non-food stores sales increased 3.7 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.

Partly due to the warmer weather, retail sales volumes increased by 3.3 per cent compared with the same period last year. Volume in food stores declined 0.6 per cent, while non-food stores volume increased 4.6 per cent.

Non-store retailing volume surged 13.4 per cent. The automotive fuel volume climbed 7.2 per cent.

The year-on-year implied price deflator in March rose to 2.5 per cent from 2.4 per cent in February.

The total non-seasonally adjusted value of spending in the retail sector was estimated to be £32.6bn.

Non-seasonally adjusted internet sales values increased by 15.2 per cent in March compared to same period last year.

Non-store retail had the largest proportion of internet sales, which now accounts for 59.9 per cent of all sales in this sector, up from 54.9 per cent in March 2011. The food sector has the lowest proportion of internet sales, which now accounts for 3.1 per cent, up from 2.8 per cent.

The average weekly value of internet sales in March (non-seasonally adjusted) was estimated to be £484m, up from £475m the previous month.