Market news
26.03.2021, 07:22

UK retail sales rose in line with forecasts in February

According to the report from Office for National Statistics, retail sales volumes only partly recovered in February 2021 with an increase of 2.1% when compared with the 8.2% fall seen in the previous month, and sales were still down by 3.7% on a year earlier before the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Non-food stores provided the largest positive contribution to the monthly growth in February 2021 sales volumes, aided by strong increases of 16.2% and 16.1% in department stores and household goods stores respectively.

Clothing retailers reported the largest fall, of 50.4%, in sales volumes when compared with February 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic; automotive fuel stores also reported a large annual decline of 26.5% as travel restrictions continued to hit sales in that sector.

In the three months to February 2021, retail sales volume fell by 6.3% when compared with the previous three months, with strong declines in both clothing stores and other non-food stores.

The proportion spent online increased to 36.1% in February 2021, the highest on record; this compares with 35.2% in January 2021 and 20.0% reported in February 2020.

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