With an increase of nearly 8 percent, retail turnover improved substantially in February compared with twelve months previously. As 2008 is a leap year, February had one day extra. This leap day was a Friday this year, for the food sector in particular the most important shopping day of the week. After an approximate correction for this positive effect, retail turnover was about 3 percent higher. Prices were just over 2 percent up on February 2007.
Turnover in the food sector increased by most, namely nearly 11 percent, with supermarkets accounting for almost all of the increase. Their turnover grew by more than 13 percent, half of which was caused by the positive effect of the leap day. Products sold in food shops cost over 3 percent more than twelve months previously. Turnover in specialist shops for food, drinks and tobacco grew by less than 1 percent compared with February 2007.
For the fifth month in a row, turnover growth in the food sector exceeded that in the non-food sector. Non-food retailers realised just over 6 percent more turnover than in February 2007, with the extra shopping day accounting for more than half of this growth. Products sold in the non-food retail sector cost 1.5 percent more than in February 2007.