Scottish retail sales grow in third quarter of 2018, figures show

The value and volume of Scottish retail sales grew in the third quarter of the year, new statistics show.

Between the second and third quarters of 2018 the value of retail sales increased by 0.6% according to the Retail Sales Index for Scotland (RSIS), published by the Scottish Government.

Over the same period, the value of retail sales in Great Britain as a whole grew by 1.7%.

Meanwhile the volume of Scottish retail sales increased by 0.4%, compared to 1.2% across Great Britain.

The RSIS is a quarterly measure of the goods sold by retailers in Scotland and is described as an important early indicator of how the economy is performing and of the strength of consumer spending.

When the value of retail sales increases more rapidly than the volume of sales, this indicates prices are rising, the report said.

Over eight of the last nine quarters the value of retail sales has increased more rapidly than the volume.

David Lonsdale, Scottish Retail Consortium director, said: “The further increase in the value of retail sales over the past quarter is heartening and mirrors the findings of our own Scottish monthly survey, which showed figures buoyed by food and grocery purchases in particular.

“The prospects for retailers are ultimately determined by the state of the economy and their own ability to adapt and seize on the opportunities that arise.

“A crucial factor is whether household finances continue to improve and translate into higher levels of confidence and more transactions.

“This brings into sharp focus big upcoming decisions which could affect disposable incomes and take home pay, notably the Scottish Budget and the setting of income tax, as well as subsequent decisions over council tax levels. These decisions must support consumer spending and economic growth.”