UK Retail Sales Volume Rebound in April
UK retail sales grew a little more than expected in April. The broader trend also suggests a slightly brighter picture for consumer spending, notwithstanding still-intense cost of living pressures from high inflation.
The main points from this report were as follows –
• Retail sales volumes rose by 0.5% m/m in April 2023, partly reversing the sharp contraction of 1.2% chalked up in March. The consensus forecast was centred on a rise of 0.3% on the month.
• The headline increase in retail sales volume was predominantly driven by a rise in the volume of goods purchased from non-food stores (e.g. clothing and household goods). They increased by 1.0% in April after a decline of 1.8% in March, when poor weather conditions throughout the month affected sales.
• Food stores sales volumes increased by 0.7% following a monthly decline of 0.8% in March.
• Looking through the month-to-month volatility the trend in UK retail sales appears to have improved. Sales volume rose by 0.3% in the three months to April, from -1.0% in the previous three months.
Overall, the pick-up in today’s retail sales volumes is encouraging and will offer some encouragement to the idea that the UK can avoid a near-term recession.
Kritika JainAuthorMore in Author Profile »
Kritika joined Haver Analytics as a Junior Economist in August 2022. She writes commentary on UK macroeconomic trends and provides client support of Haver’s data content and proprietary software.
From 2019 to 2022 Kritika worked in Financial Accounting and Capital Markets. Prior to working in financial services, she was a research assistant at Frontier Economics within the public policy practice and has also interned at HM Revenue and Customs.
Kritika holds an MA in Economics from the University of Manchester and a BA in Economics from India.