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21.03.2019 17:46

United Kingdom retail sales rose unexpectedly in February

According to the report from Office for National Statistics, the monthly growth rate in the quantity bought in February 2019 increased by 0.4%, with a decline of 1.2% in food stores offset by growth in all other main sectors. Economists had expected a 0.3% decrease.

In the three months to February 2019, the quantity bought increased by 0.7% when compared with the previous three months, with strong growth in non-store retailing and fuel.

The monthly fall in food stores was the strongest decline since December 2016 at negative 1.5%, reversing the increase of 0.9% in January 2019, with food retailers suggesting that “getting back to normal” following the January sales had contributed to this fall.

Year-on-year growth in the quantity bought in February 2019 increased by 4.0%, with growth in all main sectors, while the only sub-sector to show a decline within non-food stores was household goods stores at negative 1.3%. Economists had expected a 3.3% increase.

Online sales as a proportion of all retailing fell to 17.6% in February 2019 from the 18.8% reported in January 2019; this was a year-on-year increase of 9.4% when compared with February 2018.


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