Retails sales increase in UK after fall in 2014

UK retail sales increased by 0.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis compared with February 2014)­ ­– when they had decreased one per cent on the previous year – according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Overall, sales were up 1.7 per cent against a 0.7 per cent rise in February 2014.

“After the bustle of Christmas and the excitement of the January sales, February is usually a quiet month for retailers. So it’s heartening to see that retail sales continued to rise this month by close to two per cent,” said Helen Dickson, the director general of BRC.

Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen shop price index deflation, total growth was 3.4 per cent, above the 12-month average of 3.2 per cent.

Total food sales grew for the third consecutive month in February and showed an annual rise of 0.5 per cent in the three months to February, its best performance since January 2014.

However, David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: “While the 0.5 per cent growth in quarterly food sales is the highest since January 2014, it seems that overall the wider economic recovery is bypassing the retail sector.”