–Value-Based Sales Show Stronger Growth Surge
–Mar retail sales +0.4% m/m; +2.2% y/y – Below MNI Median: 0.7%; 2.5%
–Mar retail sales ex auto fuel +0.2% m/m; +4.0% y/y

LONDON (MNI) – Retail sales volumes grew moderately in March as
retailers raised prices, according to data released by National
Statistics Thursday.

The volume of retail sales including auto fuel rose by 0.4% on the
month in March to stand 2.2% above levels a year earlier. The rise was
below the median forecast for an increase of 0.7% on the month and 2.5%
on the year.

There was, however, an upward revision to the February outturn
which now shows growth of 2.5% from an originally estimated 2.1%

Excluding auto fuel sales volumes rose 0.2% on the month and were
up 4% on the year.

In the three months to March retail sales including auto fuels were
down 1.7% compared with the previous three months, mainly due to the
fact that auto fuel sales plummeted in January because of the poor
weather conditions. Excluding auto fuel, sales were down 0.6% in the
latest three months.

While volumes of sales grew moderately there was evidence that
retailers increased prices markedly in March. The value of sales was up
0.9% on the month and the implied deflator, a measure of High Street
inflation, rose to 2.5% from 1.8% including auto fuels. Excluding auto
fuel the deflator increased to 0.7% from 0.1%.

The rising deflator may well be due to the depreciation in Sterling
seen over the past year which will have pushed up the cost of many
imported goods sold by retailers.

–London bureau: 0044 20 7634 1624; email: ukeditorial@marketnews.com

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