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Swinney Comments On Retail Sales

31/7/2012

Official statistics published today show that over the year the volume of retail sales in Scotland grew by 0.6 per cent, but with a small fall in the volume and value of retail sales in Scotland in the second quarter of this year.

On an annual basis, we continue to see growth in the sector with the volume of retail sales, growing by 0.6 per cent, which is in-line with GB growth rates. The new statistics also show that the volume of retail sales decreased by 0.3 per cent between Q1 and Q2, and the value of sales fell by 0.6 per cent over the same period.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said:"Official figures show that the retail sales performance over the year continues to show growth in Scotland, but with a small fall in the volume and value of retail sales in the second quarter of 2012.

"The 0.3 per cent fall in volume and 0.6 per cent fall in sales in the latest quarter contrasts with the upwards trend we have seen over the year - with the volume of retail sales growing by 0.6 per cent and value increasing by 2.4 per cent.

"The retail sector can be assured that this Government is doing all we can to maintain Scotland's position as the most supportive business environment in the UK through actions such as the Small Business Bonus Scheme and other reliefs, which provides zero or reduced business rates for 63 per cent of retail premises in Scotland.

"The Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies are working tirelessly to strengthen the economy, with the powers we currently have, and our economic strategy is delivering results - Scotland has a consistently higher employment rate than the UK as a whole, and a stronger GDP performance than the UK over the past six months.

"With the full economic and financial powers of independence we could maximise Scotland's economic success and prosperity, and in the meantime we need the UK Government to adopt a Plan B - with increased capital investment at its heart - in order to boost growth and employment and create the conditions for sustained economic recovery."

Background
The performance of the retail sector is best measured by the Retail Sales Index, published by the Scottish Government. Other estimates are available, but the Retail Sales Index is the most robust measure of retail activity in the Scottish economy, providing a large sample size, peer reviewed to National Statistics quality standards and covering both traditional and online sectors of retail in Scotland.

See the statistics at -
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/RSI2012Q2

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