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ONS retails stats – Barclays comment

Posted: 20th May 2022

Commenting on today’s ONS Retail Sales figures, Euan Murray, relationship director and retail sector expert at Barclays Corporate Banking, Scotland said

“April was a month of two halves. Travel, holidays and family gatherings around Easter helped drive spend over a key weekend in the month, but the post-Easter reality of rising energy costs and inflation heavily impacted spending later in April.

“Customers are increasingly conscious of the cost of their baskets, and are actively seeking out own brands or deals to reduce costs, which is helping to maintain sales volumes in supermarkets and other essential retailers. Non-essential retail has seen the biggest fall in volumes within the sector, as many consumers simply don’t have the disposable cash to spend on these type of purchases.

“Inflation is also continuing to skew ONS retail data, with sales values now an unreliable metric. Sales volumes are more indicative of the wider sector, and they have been largely down.”

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