UK retail sales April 2023

By Patrick Barnham

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released figures on retail sales in April.

Retail sales volumes are estimated to have risen by 0.5% in April 2023, following a fall of 1.2% in March 2023 (revised from a fall of 0.9%).

Sales volumes rose by 0.8% in the three months to April 2023 when compared with the previous three months; the highest rate since August 2021 (1.3%).

Non-food stores sales volumes rose by 1.0% in April 2023, following a fall of 1.8% in March when poor weather conditions throughout most of March affected sales.

Food stores sales volumes rose by 0.7% in April 2023, following a fall of 0.8% in March 2023; sales volumes were 2.7% below their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) February 2020 levels.

Non-store retailing (mainly online retailers) sales volumes rose by 0.2% in April 2023, following a fall of 1.4% in March 2023.

Despite falling fuel prices, automotive fuel sales volumes fell by 2.2% in April 2023, following a rise of 0.1% in March 2023.

Divergence between retail sales volumes and values

Volume and value sales, seasonally adjusted, Great Britain, April 2019 to April 2023

uk retail sales figures

Commenting on the figures ONS Chief Economist Grant Fitzner said:

“Retail sales grew, partially rebounding from a poor weather affected March, with jewellers, sports retailers and department stores all having a good month. Despite continued high food prices, supermarkets also recovered from the fall in March.

“However, these were partly offset by a drop in the amount of fuel sold, despite prices also dropping.”

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