Retail sales rose 1.2% last month with supermarkets benefiting from hard-pressed Brits cutting back on eating out – but level is still only the same as before Covid hit
Retail sales clawed back ground last month as supermarkets benefited from people cutting back on eating out.
Volumes were up 1.2 per cent in February, with discounting stores also seeing strong trade. The figure for January was revised up from 0.5 per cent to 0.9 per cent.
However, the level of sales is still the same as before the pandemic, as spiralling inflation has hit consumers’ purchasing power.
ONS Director of Economic Statistics Darren Morgan said: ‘Retail grew sharply in February with sales returning to their pre-pandemic level.
Retail sales volumes were up 1.2 per cent in February, with discounting stores also seeing strong trade. The figure for January was revised up from 0.5 per cent to 0.9 per cent
‘However, the broader picture remains more subdued, with retail sales showing little real growth, particularly over the last eighteen months with price rises hitting consumer spending power.
‘In the latest month, discount department stores performed strongly with food shops also doing well as consumers, confronted with cost-of-living pressures, cut back on eating out or purchasing takeaways.
‘After rail strikes increased car travel in January, fuel sales fell back in February.’
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