The BRC Quarterly Economic Summary provides a brief overview of the latest data produced by the BRC, including the latest economic trends and what they mean for the world of retail. They provide a non-technical look at retail sales, footfall, shop prices and vacancy data.

All data provided is from Q1 2022. For April 2022 data, please see our Retail dashboard.

Overview from the Quarterly Economic Summary:

  • Inflation has become the major consumer concern of 2022, with consumer confidence falling to levels not seen since the financial crisis. The Shop Price Index, which measures the price of basic goods, rose to 1.8%, the highest level in over ten years, driven by record inflation in non-food prices. Nonetheless, these remain well below the overall UK inflation rate showing that retailers are having some success in keeping down the price of essential goods.
  • The first quarter of 2022 had started to see the return of shoppers and an initial increase in spending, though this strong growth was short lived as rising inflation and the conflict in Ukraine significantly damaged consumer confidence. While there is still strong growth in non-food, food sales have declined in both value and volume terms.

Looking forward:

  • Inflation is likely to continue to rise for some time, as global pressures, including rising oil and global commodity prices, drive up retailers’ costs. This is likely to further damage the already weak consumer confidence.
  • Higher energy costs and rising bills will be eating into consumers’ disposable income. When combined with falling consumer confidence, it is likely that demand will continue to be weak for the foreseeable future.


Download the full report below.