SRC RESPONSE TO SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT RETAIL SALES INDEX Q3 2017 PUBLICATION

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Today the Scottish Government has published the Retail Sales Index for Scotland, Quarter 3 2017. The Sales Index shows the value of retail sales (unadjusted for inflation) increased by 0.4 per cent during 2017 Quarter 3. The Volume of Sales (adjusted for inflation and seasonal effects) was flat at 0.0 percent growth.

Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government’s Q3 Retail Sales Index , Ewan MacDonald-Russell, SRC Head of Policy, said:

“Retailers will be disappointed to see anaemic sales value growth as they prepare for the crucial run up to Christmas. When combined with flat sales volumes, the evidence shows Scottish retail sales appear to be stuck in the doldrums. With overall inflation rising, and the possibility of rising interest rates and potential tax rises, consumer confidence is understandably fragile, and these figures will at least partly reflect that.

“Considering the crucial importance of consumer spending to Scotland’s economic growth the Scottish Government should be paying close attention to their own statistics and carefully considering how they can encourage customers to continue shopping. This is the final time the retail sales index will be published before the Scottish Budget in December. The Finance Secretary should reflect on these disappointing figures, and focus on growing the economy – specifically by keeping income tax rates for ordinary workers in line with the rest of the UK, and looking to swiftly follow through on his commitment to bring the Large Business Supplement back into parity with the rest of the UK.”