The ONS January 2016 Retail Sales released today showed very encouraging results for the non-food sector, which could be a sign of a higher disposable income and more to spend on furnishings and household goods.
The key findings from the Retail Statistics showed:
- Year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry showed growth for the 33rd consecutive month in January 2016, increasing by 5.2% compared with January 2015.
- The underlying pattern in the data, as suggested by the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought, showed growth for the 26th consecutive month, increasing by 1.4%.
- Compared with December 2015, the quantity bought in the retail industry is estimated to have increased by 2.3%.
- Average store prices (including petrol stations) fell by 2.6% in January 2016 compared with January 2015, the 19th consecutive month of year-on-year price falls.
- The amount spent in the retail industry increased by 2.4% in January 2016 compared with January 2015 and increased by 2.3% compared with December 2015.
- The value of online sales increased by 10.4% in January 2016 compared with January 2015 and increased by 2.7% compared with December 2015.
January 2016 retail sales revealed amounts spent increased by 2.3% from December 2015. The total quantity purchased also increased by 2.3% from December 2015.
The sector which revealed the most improvement was in non-food stores, which includes household goods and online retail as a retail sales channel.
Phil Mullis, partner and head of retail and wholesale at top-20 UK accountancy firm, Wilkins Kennedy, commented: “Consumers seemed happy to dip into their pockets to buy furnishings to spruce up their homes as well as purchasing fashion wear to keep the cold January days and nights at bay.
“However, alcohol sales were muted with “Dry January” coming into play.
“Wage growth continues to outstrip inflation and consumers are putting some of their hard earned cash into products. Price deflation continues to spread over all retail sectors, particularly fuel. This was the 19th consecutive month of year-on-year price falls.”
So, will the good news continue into February 2016? Certainly been a cold month which is encouraging for clothing retailers; and of course, we should see a spike from Valentine’s Day.