Retail sales data, May 2016 - PwC comments

Published at 10:28 AM on 19 May 2016

In response to the latest retail sales data, John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, commented:

“British shoppers hit the stores again in April, with retail sales volumes up by 1.3% compared to the previous month and by 4.3% on April 2015. Although this rebound may have been influenced by the early Easter this year, which dampened the March data, it suggests that consumer spending remains relatively resilient in the face of uncertainty around the EU referendum.

“Looking at the trend over the past year, however, average retail prices continued to fall in all store types, reflecting continued fierce competition both on the high street and online. The volume of retail sales has been stronger in most categories, with the notable exception of clothing and footwear, where it is down more than 6% on a year earlier. Erratic weather seems to be upsetting traditional seasonal buying patterns, including sales of current summer clothing ranges.

“Internet sales growth remains strong, particularly in the household goods area where the value of internet sales is up by around a third on a year earlier, putting considerable pressure on traditional high street retailers in this sector.

“Overall, therefore, despite the bounce in retail sales in April, the high street remains a tough place to do business.”


For further information please contact Tilly Parke: [email protected] / +44 20 7804 8761 



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