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Retail Sales Index 2009 Q4

Descriptionhtml version of the 2009 Q4 Scottish Retail Sales Index
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateFebruary 10, 2010


For a Portable Document Format (.pdf) version of the results, use the following link:

RSI 2009Q4 PDF


To download the tables in Excel format, use the following link:

RSI 2009Q4 XLS

10 February 2010

Retail Sales, in constant basic prices in Scotland grew by 2.7 per cent over the year to the end of 2009 Q4 and grew by 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to provisional estimates released today by Scotland's Chief Statistician.

The main findings of the latest figures are:

· The volume of Retail Sales at basic prices in Scotland grew by 2.7 per cent annually and grew by 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009 (seasonally adjusted).

· The value of Retail Sales at current prices in Scotland grew by 3.6 per cent annually and grew by 0.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009 (seasonally adjusted).

Retail Sales in Great Britain:

· The volume of Retail Sales at basic prices in GB grew by 1.7 per cent annually and grew by 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009 (seasonally adjusted).

· The value of Retail Sales at current prices in GB grew by 1.8 per cent annually and grew by 0.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009 (seasonally adjusted).

RSI 2009Q4


Definitions and Methodology

1. The Retail Sales Index (RSI) is a measure of the total turnover at basic prices of businesses registered as retailers according to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), an internationally agreed convention for classifying industries.

2. Scottish RSI estimates will generally be less reliable than the equivalent estimates for the UK, primarily because the survey data for Scotland tend to be based on smaller numbers of units, making figures for Scotland more likely to be susceptible to statistical variability. Statistical variability in estimates is directly proportional to the variability in the underlying population of interest. In the current economic climate, the variability in the economy is increased and users should bare this in mind when interpreting all economic indicators.

3. A constant price series is one where values are expressed in terms of the prices of a single year, thereby removing the effects of inflation. A constant price series is also referred to as a volume series. Current prices are the estimated monetary value. They show the value for each item expressed in terms of the prices of that period.

4. Deflators are derived by weighting together Consumer Price Indices to represent the pattern of sales in the base year. These deflators are then applied to the value data to produce the volume series.

5. The Scottish RSI is derived from the same data used to calculate the RSI for Great Britain. Businesses are identified as operating in Scotland based on the location of their staff and weights are derived from the number of employees based in Scotland. The sample represents the whole retail sector and includes all large retailers and a representative panel of smaller businesses. The sample size of retail businesses operating in Scotland is approximately 700.

6. The quarterly turnover data are stratified by number of employees and weighted to Scotland level using Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) data.


7. Annual chainlinking is the technique used to compile the overall measure of RSI growth.

8. The Office for National Statistics updated the weights used to compile their aggregate measures, including RSI, in the 2009 Q1 Quarterly National Accounts published on the 30th June 2009. The latest weights used to produce growth rates for Scotland in this publication continue to relate to the year 2004 whilst the weights used in the UK statistics relate to the calendar year 2005. The Scottish weights will be updated during the process of compiling the next publication of Input-Output tables for Scotland.

Seasonal Adjustment

9. The data used in the production of these quarterly RSI estimates are seasonally adjusted in accordance with international practice.

10. The X-12-ARIMA technique is used where appropriate to remove seasonal peaks and troughs so that the underlying trends and other features of the data are easier to identify. Further information about the seasonal adjustment of the economic data can be found in section A3 of Scottish Economic Statistics 2006 ( www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/ses).


11. Series are based on deflated turnover from the UK Retail Sales Index. Where a retailer operates across the UK, turnover is allocated to Scotland based on the proportion of employees based in Scotland.

12. The quarterly Scottish RSI estimates are published approximately 6 weeks after the end of the quarter to which they relate.

13. Companies are classified as Retail Sales in this Statistics Publication Notice according to the 2003 revised Standard Industrial Classification.


14. Very few statistical revisions arise as a result of 'errors' in the popular sense of the word. All estimates, by definition, are subject to statistical 'error' but in this context, the word refers to the uncertainty inherent in any process or calculation that uses sampling, estimation or modelling. Most revisions reflect either the adoption of new statistical techniques, or the incorporation of new information which allows the statistical error of previous estimates to be reduced. Only rarely are there avoidable 'errors' such as human or system failures, and such mistakes are made quite clear when they do occur.

15. Scottish RSI estimates are a small (5.3%) component of the overall GDP (Gross Domestic Product) estimate. The Quarter 4 figures outlined in this publication may be subject to revisions when the Scottish GDP index for Quarter 4 of 2009 is published on 21st April 2010.

Issued by

Office of the Chief Economic Adviser

DG Economy

St Andrew's House

Regent Road

Edinburgh, EH1 3DG


Press Office: Tim Jays 0131-244-5122

Statistician: Richard Morrison 0131-244-3768