Inflation is lifting food higher

FOOD sales continue to outperform the rest of retail in Scotland as inflation continues to affect grocery prices.

The latest figures for Scotland released by the Scottish Retail Consortium with KPMG for the five weeks to 30 September show total food sales increased by 5% compared with the same period last year. September’s figures push 12 month average growth to 2.7%, the highest since December 2013.

Craig Cavin, head of retail in Scotland pointed to ongoing price inflation in grocery as a “key driver of this growth”.

Non-food sales continue to languish however, declining 2% on September 2016 when they had also decreased by 1.7% on the previous year. September’s decline is an improvement on the 12 month average of -2.7%.

Commenting on the figures, Ewan MacDonald-Russell of the SRC said: “September was a bumper month for grocers as strong food sales helped overall Scottish retail sales grow by 1.2% in real terms. Food sales growth of 5% has pushed the 12 month average up to the highest level since December 2013.

“The evidence that rising inflation continues to soak up a large proportion of household earnings should provide politicians considering imposing costs on consumers with some serious food for thought.”