Scottish retail sales up but continue to lag behind Britain

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Retail sales in Scotland rose in the second quarter of this year but continued to lag Great Britain as a whole, according to official figures.

The amount of goods sold between April and June increased by 1.1% north of the border, compared with a rise of 1.5% in Great Britain.

On an annual basis, sales volumes grew by 1.6%, with equivalent growth in Great Britain at 2.6%.

Experts said strong food sales had “carried” retailers over the quarter.

Meanwhile, the value of sales – once adjusted for seasonal effects – increased in both Scotland and Great Britain as a whole in the second quarter, growing by 1.4% and 1.6% respectively.

On an annual basis, the value of sales grew by 3.9% in Scotland, compared with 5.6% in Great Britain.

The figures were included in the latest Retail Sales Index for Scotland.

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Scottish government

Euan Murray, from Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “Strong food sales, through a combination of higher prices due to inflation and increased consumer spending, have carried the second quarter retail performance.

“Although it was the wettest June in Scotland for over a century, people were still making the most of the bursts of warmer weather when they could, helping food sales. A later Easter also bolstered spending in the quarter.

“The UK tourism boom continues to have a positive effect on the retail sector.

“Weak sterling is delivering better value for money for our tourists and they are capitalising on that when visiting.”

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