The Office for National Statistics have just published the monthly retail sales figures for November.
On the glass half full front “Retail sales offer rare economic hope” but on the half or almost completely empty level The British Retail Consortium said the figures were “miserable”.
As far as the online sector is concerned growth continues at a tremendous pace and we calculate that since 2007 they have achieved an annual compound growth rate of around 28%. This year to date they are over 20% up with the prospect of December exceeding £3.5bn for the first time and just possibly £4bn.
On the technical front the reason for the peaks in March June & September is that the 4, 4 ,5 week retail convention is used by the ONS The figures exclude seasonal adjustments and are experimental. “Experimental statistics are those which are in the testing phase and are not yet fully developed. The main reason why the Internet retail sales are designated as experimental is that the methods and data sources are still being improved. Here is more information on the internet retail sales strategy.”
As online now represent over 12% of total retail sales (excluding automotive fuel) one might have thought that the reasons for their experimental nature might have been resolved.