Retail turnover was 1 percent up in February 2012 from February 2011. Turnover is positively affected by the shopping-day pattern. As 2012 is a leap year, February had one Wednesday extra compared with February last year. Retail prices were almost 3 percent higher. The volume of retail sales shrank by nearly 2 percent.
Despite the extra shopping-day, shops in the non-food sector suffered a turnover loss of 3.5 percent. Sales generated by home furnishing shops and DIY shops dropped dramatically by more than 7 percent. Spending in consumer electronics shops and clothes shops also declined, but household appliances shops, chemist’s shops and textile supermarkets realised turnover growth.
Food, drinks and tobacco shops recorded a 6 percent turnover growth in February 2012 relative to February 2011, partly due to the extra shopping day. Supermarket sales grew considerably; specialist shops generated the same turnover as one year previously.
Petrol stations generated a turnover growth by 2 percent. Petrol prices were 8 percent higher. Apart from traditional shops and petrol stations, the retail sector also includes mail-order firms and online shops. They achieved a turnover growth of 9 percent.
The figures in this article have been updated relative to retail figures released on 12 April 2012. The revision is based on more recent and more detailed information.
More figures can be found in dossier Business cycle.