The Strategist

UK retail sales hit pre-pandemic levels

03/27/2023 - 03:33

The UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) published figures for February's retail sales.

J Taylor
J Taylor
The sales volume increased 1.2% when compared to January, exceeding expectations by 0.2% and representing the fastest rate of development since last October.

The ONS added that "February 2023 saw a return of retail sales to levels seen before February 2020."

The most significant growth in February was seen in non-food retail, up 2.4%, mainly as a result of strong department store sales. Sales of grocery stores increased by 0.9% as opposed to just 0.1% in January.

Aled Patchett, retail market analyst at Lloyds Bank, comments that "February's sales growth suggests consumer confidence is moving in the right direction after difficult few months," according to Bloomberg. It increases the confidence of market players that as the warmer season approaches, consumers will want to spend more at retail due to seasonally lower fuel prices, so they can anticipate a longer period of retail sales growth.