Scottish Government figures suggest volume sales dipped 0.3% by 0.6% in value terms in Q2
Scottish retail volume sales dropped 0.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 but are up 0.6 per cent on an annualised basis according to new Scottish Government figures.
The latest Scottish Retail Sales Index (RSI) suggests retail volume sales show volume growth of 0.6 per cent on an annual basis comparing the most recent four quarters with the previous four quarters.
And in sales value terms, Scottish retail, barring inflation adjustments, dropped 0.6 per cent in the second quarter but grew by 2.4 per cent annually.
This compares with a 0.1 per cent rise in retail volume sales for the UK as a whole in the second quarter, and growth of 0.6 per cent on an annualised basis.
And in value terms, UK retail sales dropped by 0.3 per cent in the second quarter but grew by 3.2 per cent annually.
However, most recent figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) revealed sales on Scotland's high streets had flatlined in June, marking the fifteenth consecutive month UK sales have exceeded performance north of the border.
The SRC figures revealed non-food retail in Scotland have shown little sign of recovery, with overall retail sales figures having been lifted by food sales.
And the SRC said although food sales in Scotland in June rose by 1.2 per cent on last year, volumes were likely to have fallen after food inflation was taken into consideration.
Scottish Government RSI figures for the first quarter of 2012, published in May, suggested a rise in both volume and value sales in Scotland, which put retail sales volumes north of the border ahead of the rest of the UK at 0.6 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.
The first-quarter RSI report also suggested value sales in Scotland had risen by three per cent on an annual basis, and for the 2011 year pointed to a 3.5 per cent rise in the value of Scottish retail sales for 2011 compared with 3.4 per cent growth for the rest of the UK.
However much of the rise in value sales comes from the reclassification in how RSI is calculated, which was introduced in 2007.
This led to automotive fuel sales being reclassified as a retail activity and repair of personal and household goods reclassified out of retail sales.
Commenting on the latest RSI report, Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “Official figures show that the retail sales performance over the year continues to show growth in Scotland, but with a small fall in the volume and value of retail sales in the second quarter of 2012.
“The 0.3 per cent fall in volume and 0.6 per cent fall in sales in the latest quarter contrasts with the upwards trend we have seen over the year – with the volume of retail sales growing by 0.6 per cent and value increasing by 2.4 per cent.
“The retail sector can be assured that this Government is doing all we can to maintain Scotland’s position as the most supportive business environment in the UK through actions such as the Small Business Bonus Scheme and other reliefs, which provides zero or reduced business rates for 63 per cent of retail premises in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies are working tirelessly to strengthen the economy, with the powers we currently have, and our economic strategy is delivering results - Scotland has a consistently higher employment rate than the UK as a whole, and a stronger GDP performance than the UK over the past six months.
“With the full economic and financial powers of independence we could maximise Scotland’s economic success and prosperity, and in the meantime we need the UK Government to adopt a Plan B – with increased capital investment at its heart – in order to boost growth and employment and create the conditions for sustained economic recovery.”