Scotland business

Scottish retail sales rise over year

Shoppers Image copyright AFP

The value and volume of retail sales grew in Scotland last year but lagged behind Great Britain as a whole, according to new figures.

Sales volumes were up 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2016 when compared with the same period the previous year.

The value of those sales, without adjusting for inflation, grew by 2.7% annually.

Equivalent growth in volume and value across Britain was 5.6% and 5.9% respectively.

The Retail Sales Index figures were compiled by Scotland's chief statistician.

They showed the volume of retail sales in Scotland fell by 0.5% - after seasonal adjustment - in the last three months of 2016, when set against the previous quarter.

This compared with growth of 1.2% in Britain as a whole.

The value of sales grew by 0.3% from the third quarter to the fourth, and by 1.9% in Britain.

'Welcome figures'

Scottish Retail Consortium director David Lonsdale said: "These figures broadly mirror the findings of our own surveys which noted a more positive trading environment for Scottish retailers in the final quarter of last year.

"Shopkeepers witnessed a second successive quarter of growth in retail sales values in Scotland, albeit the pace eased compared to last autumn.

"These figures are welcome at a time when retailers are continuing to grapple with changing shopping habits and with predictions of choppier times ahead for consumer spending, with inflation set to pick up in earnest over this year and act as a drag on consumer spending."

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