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DescriptionHTML version of the 2010 Q1 Scottish Retail Sales Index.
Official Print Publication DateMay 2010
Website Publication DateMay 05, 2010


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

RSI 2010Q1 PDF


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

RSI 2010Q1 XLS

5 May 2010

Retail Sales in Scotland, in constant basic prices, grew by 2.4 per cent over the year to the end of 2010 Q1 and fell by 0.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2010, 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 2.4 per cent annually and fell by 0.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 (seasonally adjusted).

· The value of Retail Sales at current prices in Scotland grew by 3.1 per cent annually and grew by 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 (seasonally adjusted).

Retail Sales in Great Britain:

· The volume of Retail Sales at basic prices in GB grew by 2.7 per cent annually and fell by 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 (seasonally adjusted).

· The value of Retail Sales at current prices in GB grew by 2.6 per cent annually and grew by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 (seasonally adjusted).

RSI Q1 2010


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. The ONS publication for GB Retail Sales has now moved to the new Standard Industrial Classification, SIC 2007. The two major differences are that 'sale of automotive fuel' is now classified as a retail activity, and 'repair of personal and household goods' have been reclassified out of retail sales. The Scottish Government GDP publication will move to SIC 2007 when the main UK National Accounts aggregates start to be published on that basis. As this publication contains component series from the Scottish GDP figures, it will continues to be based on SIC 2003 classification until that time. The repair sector, which in practice represented 6 out of 700 surveyed companies is no longer included in these results as these companies are now surveyed as part of the main services survey inquiry. Consequently the Retail Sales Index in this publication does not include companies classified under 'repair of personal and household goods'.

3. These figures are directly comparable to the published GB Retail Sales series 'excluding automotive fuel' - which is the GB series provided for comparison in this bulletin.

4. Scottish RSI estimates will generally be less reliable than the equivalent estimates for the Great Britain, 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

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


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

10. 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 GB 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

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

12. 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).


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

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


15. 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.

16. The figures in this Statistics Publication Notice incorporate revisions to previously published estimates and include the effects of recent ONS revisions to GB Retail Sales series and the underlying source data. The table below shows the extent of revisions to zero decimal places since the last publication in February 2010.

Revisions to Index Numbers published on 10 February 2010
Scotland, 2007 to 2009 Q42004=100
Total Retail Sales
Volume at basic pricesValue at current pricesImplied Deflator used in RSI Calculations
Seasonally Adjusted

1. Scottish RSI estimates are a small (5.3%) component of the overall GDP (Gross Domestic Product) estimate. The Quarter 1 figures outlined in this publication may be subject to revisions when the Scottish GDP index for Quarter 1 of 2010 is published on 21st July 2010.

Issued by

Office of the Chief Economic Adviser

St Andrew's House

Regent Road

Edinburgh, EH1 3DG


Press Office: Lisa Gillibrand 0131-244-4044

Statistician: David Jack 0131-244-3772