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29/04/20 09:35

Scottish retail sales contract 1.1% in the first quarter of 2020

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland

The Chief Statistician has released statistics showing that the amount of retail goods bought in Scotland fell by -1.1% during January to March 2020. Over the same period Great Britain as a whole saw a -1.6% contraction.

The amount spent on retail sales (not adjusted for inflation) contracted by -1.1% during January to March 2020. Over the same period Great Britain as a whole saw a -1.4% contraction.

Compared to the same time last year, the amount of retail goods bought in Scotland contracted by ‑1.7%. In Great Britain as a whole over the same period, sales contracted by -1.8%.

The Scottish Government has been investigating ways to make faster use of available data to allow more up to date monitoring of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the economy, and to help policy makers and economic forecasters. The two strands to this work are a Monthly Business Index (MBI) and Monthly GDP estimates (mGDP)

As part of this work, we are proposing to change some of our normal outputs, and we shall consult users in due course. Proposals include that the Retail Sales index be amalgamated with the MBI and mGDP and suspended as a separate release until further notice, to free up resources to work on the estimates for the whole economy.

Background

The full statistical publication is available, including a visual summary of key findings and detailed results back to 2008.

All estimates are seasonally adjusted to account for busier retail periods (such as the peak season at Christmas). The data used for these statistics are also used in quarterly GDP statistics, accounting for approximately 5% of Scotland’s onshore economy.

Figures for Great Britain as a whole are produced by the Office of National Statistics (ONS)

Further information on Scottish economic statistics is available.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff.