Scottish retail sales rise 0.5%

Image caption The Scottish volume of retail sales was lower than the UK as a whole

The level of retail sales in Scotland has grown in recent months, official figures have shown.

The volume of sales rose by 0.5% in Scotland between April and June, and by 2.7% over the past year.

However, the quarterly rise was lower than the 1.3% increase for the UK as a whole.

About 700 businesses across the Scottish retail sector were surveyed to produce the figures, published by the Scottish government.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "This retail sales data shows that an integral part of Scotland's economy is performing well, supporting the fragile recovery which is under way.

"Despite financial pressures faced by many families in Scotland, it is encouraging to see improved consumer confidence and support for retailers."

The value of sales in Scotland was up 0.4% between April and June, although this compared with growth of 0.5% in the previous three months.

Over the year to June, the value of sales increased by 3.3%.

Across the UK, the value of sales grew 1.3% in the second quarter of this year and by 2.9% annually.

Economic recovery stalled in the first three months of this year in Scotland, according to the most recent figures.

Scotland's economy recorded no growth between January and March after gross domestic product rose by 0.3% in the final three months of last year, when the country emerged from recession.

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