'Disappointing' rise in Scots retail sales

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Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
AG Barr posted a 5% rise in sales of Irn Bru in the six months to July as temperatures soared

Scottish shoppers bought 0.3% more between April and June than they did in the previous three months, according to Scottish government figures.

However, that compared with a sales rise of 2.1% for the UK as a whole, the Office For National Statistics said.

Across Britain there was a 2.8% rise in the annual volume of sales and a 5.1% rise in their worth, said the ONS.

The yearly figure showed the number of sales in Scotland up by just 0.5%, with their value rising by 2.4%.

Among the other findings from the Scottish government data, were suggestions that in-store spending was being skewed towards larger retailers, while the amount being bought declined for those employing fewer than 250 people.

'Surrounding gloom'

The Scottish Retail Consortium said there had been a significant lift in spending as summer temperatures soared.

However, policy director Ewan MacDonald-Russell described the figures as "disappointing".

Image source, Getty Images

He said: "Scottish retail sales continue to show low but sustained growth in 2018.

"This rise in the value of retail sales is a valuable counterpoint to some of the gloom surrounding the industry - retail continues to play a part in growing Scotland's economy.

"Nonetheless, it's disappointing retail sales were only marginally higher than the first quarter of 2018; a period which saw very wintry weather.

"Furthermore, it's crucial to recognise that the UK as a whole outperformed Scotland over this period, a trend which has been evident for some time now."

Despite the sluggish growth, one of the companies to benefit from the recent rise in temperatures was Irn Bru-maker AG Barr.

They issued a trading update on Wednesday, showing a 5% rise in sales in the six months to the end of July.

That was slightly ahead of growth across the soft drinks sector.