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ONS Retail Sales March 2022

  • Retail sales (value, non-seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel) rose by 4.9% year-on-year (YoY) in March, against 9.0% growth a year earlier, according to the latest ONS data. 
  • In volume terms, retail sales fell 2.5% YoY in March (non-seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel). 
  • The three-month-on-three-month growth rate dropped 1.3% in the quarter to March (volume, seasonally adjusted).

Source: ONS 

Note: all retail sales figures provided are non-seasonally adjusted, excluding Fuel, unless stated otherwise

Food and non-food

  • Food store sales fell sharply in March, dropping 6.1% YoY, compared to solid 2.1% growth a year earlier during the third national lockdown. 
  • Clothing continued to bounce back, with sales jumping 78.6% YoY compared to an 11.7% decline last March. 
  • Furniture and Lighting stores saw sales rise 44.1% YoY in March, boosted by comparisons to mandated store closures last year, with overall Household Goods sales up by a solid 7.8% during the month.


  • Online sales dropped sharply in March, falling 20.6% YoY, against 69.6% growth a year earlier when non-essential stores were closed. 
  • Online was dragged down by a 38.3% drop in ecommerce sales among Household Goods retailers in the month.
  • This saw the proportion of retail sales made online fall to 26.1% in March, the lowest level since March 2020 at the very early stages of the pandemic.  

Retail sales price deflator

  • The retail sales deflator (a measure of inflation specific to retail) continued to step up amid an inflationary backdrop for retailers, rising by 7.6% YoY in March – a record high – and 9.7% when including fuel.
  • The implied price deflator among food stores rose by 6.4% YoY and 8.2% among non-food stores.

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