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ONS Retail Sales April 2022

  • Retail sales (value, non-seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel) rose by just 2.7% year-on-year (YoY) in April, against 34.9% growth a year earlier following the third national lockdown according to the latest ONS data.
  • In volume terms, retail sales fell by 4.9% YoY in April, following a 2.2% decline last month but a rise of 34.1% in the previous year (non-seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel).
  • Recent declines have seen the three-month-on-three-month volume rate edged down by 0.5% in the quarter to April (volume, seasonally adjusted).

Food and non-food

  • Food store sales edged up by 2.2% in April, compared to soft comparison of -0.3% a year earlier as Covid restrictions eased following the third national lockdown (value, non-seasonally adjusted).
  • Clothing continued to bounce back, with sales up by 11.3% YoY in April despite a 205.8% bounce back in the previous year. This means clothing sales by value have edged above their pre-pandemic level three years earlier (value, non-seasonally adjusted).
  • Furniture and Lighting stores saw sales rise by 8.6% YoY in April despite a tough 374.9% rise a year earlier when sales were boosted by comparisons against store closures (value, non-seasonally adjusted).
  • However, Household Goods sales dipped 2.0% during the month, but remain above the pre-pandemic level (value, non-seasonally adjusted).


  • Online sales continued to decline in April against strong growth last year, falling 10.0% YoY compared with 34.1% growth a year earlier.
  • Online was dragged down yet again by ecommerce sales among Household Goods retailers in the month, seeing an online decline of 28.9%.
  • As online sales declines ultimately softened on last month, the proportion of retail sales made online edged up to 26.4% in April from 26.2% in March. However, this is down on 30.1% in April 2021.

Retail sales price deflator

  • The retail sales deflator (a measure of inflation specific to retail) continued to step up significantly amid cost-push inflation, rising by 7.9% YoY in April when excluding fuel – a new record– and 10.1% when including fuel.
  • The implied price deflator among food stores rose by 6.9% YoY and 8.5% among non-food stores.

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