Published today, the SRC-KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor shows continued growth in February despite fragile conditions.
In February 2013 total Scottish sales increased by 0.7% compared with February 2012, when they had declined by 0.6%.
Like-for-like sales decreased by 0.1% on last February, when they had declined by 1.7%. Taking account of shop price inflation at 1.1%, February total sales were down 0.3% in real terms.
Total food sales were 2.0% up on February 2012, when they had risen by 3.4%. This was the weakest growth since July, excluding Christmas.
Total non-food sales declined by 0.5% on a year earlier when they had decreased by 4.4%. This was the strongest performance since March, excluding Christmas.
While the gap with the UK widened in February, the 3-month average for Scotland is the strongest since April 2011.
David Martin, Head of Policy, Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “This is an encouraging result with February being the third consecutive month of Scottish sales growth and the best three-month average in nearly two years. However, total sales didn’t measure up well against those in January and in real terms were down 0.3%. This reminds us that the economy and trading environment remains fragile."
“Non-food sales continued to rebound in February, showing the strongest performance since March 2012 if pre-Christmas trading is excluded. Electricals drove much of this growth but furniture and flooring also did well."
“The gap between Scottish sales growth and that for the UK as a whole widened again in February returning to what has been the norm for around two years. All in all, however, this is a satisfactory showing and should be welcomed with cautious optimism.”