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UK retail sales fell by 18.1 per cent in April during lockdown

The study called ‘Retail sales, Great Britain: April 2020’ released by Office for National Statistics on 22nd of May 2020, showed that in April all measures had record declines for value and volume, since following the guidance from 23rd of March to stop trading due to coronavirus pandemic.

The chart presented value- amount spent and excluding automotive fuel. The first one about most recent 3 months on previous 3 months was -9,3 and for the second category -6.9. Regarding the volume-quality bought and excluding automotive fuel- first one was -8.6 and second category -6.7. The table also divides the statistics seasonally- ranging from most recent month on a year earlier to most recent month on previous month and in all percentage change the decline is clearly noticeable.

The biggest monthly fall on record in April 2020 was compared on the graph with previous years, which were gradually increasing up till 107.0 and the current record decline is 18.1%. The sector summary for April and March 2020 visualised that for food stores- 18% of stores reported zero turnover in April and the monthly growth rate into April 2020 being -4.1.

In terms of non-food stores-17.1% of stores that reported zero turnover in April and the monthly growth rate into April 2020 being -41.7. The other sectors such as for example fuel stores, 3.3% reported zero turnover in April and -52.0 monthly growth rate into the month.

Another figure in the report took a closer look into record falls of the non-food stores saying that: “While all non-food stores fell dramatically in April 2020, clothing and other non-food stores saw the strongest declines for both March and April 2020. The figure showed all department stores, clothing, household goods and other non-food having growth rate ranging from -25.0 to -50.0.

The study then continues to look at each separate sector, starting from the clothing store sales, where the pandemic had a significant impact on the presented graph shown in the report, having a large fall at negative 46.0% when being compared with March 2020.

The report is presenting a view on the retail industry from 5 April 2020 to 2nd May 2020 and it explains more about the economic indicator:

“The Retail Sales Index (RSI) measures the value and volume of retail sales in Great Britain on a monthly basis. Data are collected from 5,000 businesses in the retail industry, with all businesses employing over 100 people or with an annual turnover of more than £60 million receiving an online questionnaire every month.

The survey’s results are used to produce seasonally adjusted monthly, quarterly and annual estimates of output in the retail industry at current price and at chained volume measures (removing the effect of price changes).”

By Julita Waleskiewicz

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