Ekonomické zprávy

UK retail sales were unchanged last month

Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that retail sales stabilized in February after rising by 3.6% in January (revised from +3.4%). Economists had expected a 0.3% drop. For the three-month period (through February), sales volumes fell by 0.4% when compared with the previous three months, and by 1.0% when compared with the three months to February 2023. Meanwhile, in February, retail sales excluding fuel rose by 0.2% after an increase of 3.4% in January (revised from +3.2%). Consensus estimates suggested a 0.1% drop.

The data also showed that, in annual terms, retail sales declined by 0.4% in February after rising 0.5% in January (revised from +0.7%). Economists had expected a 0.7% drop.

The ONS said sales volumes in clothing and department stores increased over the month because of new collections but fell in food stores and fuel retailers offset this growth. Meanwhile online sales increased, particularly for clothing retailers, as wet weather affected footfall. Non-food stores sales volumes (the total of department, clothing, household and other non-food stores) rose by 0.7% m/m, but fell by 0.5% per annum. Food stores sales volumes fell by 0.3% m/m following January's recovery from December's record fall in 2023. Automotive fuel sales volumes fell by 1.3% m/m as fuel prices increased slightly. The data also showed the amount spent online, known as online spending values, rose by 2.1% m/m and 2.2% per annum. This monthly rise was the largest since July 2023. The proportion of online sales was 25.7% compared to 25.1% in January.

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