Scotland business

Scottish retail sales rise in first quarter

shopping centre
Image caption Retail sales grew in both volume and value in the first quarter

Retail sales in Scotland grew slightly in the first three months of the year, according to official statistics.

The figures, released by the Scottish government, showed a 0.7% rise in the volume of sales, while there was a 0.9% increase in value.

The Retail Sales Index showed year-on-year growth of 0.6% by volume, compared with a 0.4% increase for the UK as a whole.

The value of Scottish sales climbed by 3% on an annual basis.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "Official figures show that the volume of retail sales is on a upward trend again, after remaining flat over the past two years.

"The 0.7% increase in volume this quarter follows a 0.9% rise in the final quarter of last year."

Mr Swinney added: "This expansion is welcome but the sector continues to face challenging conditions."

Last month, a Scottish Retail Consortium survey suggested sales rose to their best overall performance for nearly a year.

SRC said the figures had been boosted by record-breaking temperatures in March.

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