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It’s official – the weather has ‘no effect on retail sales’,

Analysis by the Office of National Statistics found there is no connection between the weather and retail sales figures.

By Piper Terrett | Yahoo Finance UK – Thu, Jan 16, 2014 16:59 GMT

Like train companies blaming delays on ‘the wrong kind of leaves on the line’, it’s long been a running joke in the City that poorly-performing retailers blame their disappointing sales figures on everything from rain and snow to too much sunshine.

But new data from government boffins suggests that this really is a fallacy. A paper released this week by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which looks at the relationship between retail sales figures and the weather over the past ten years concludes that there is no real connection between weather patterns and sales.

The ONS compared retail sales data since 2003 with average UK monthly temperatures – periods which included severe weather events such as the flooding in July 2007 and November 2012 and heavy snow in December 2010.

However, statisticians found that in most cases the weather had little or no effect on retail sales.  For example, in June to September 2006, average temperatures were around 1.9°C higher than normal but retail sales remained stable. Yet in July 2013, when temperatures were 2.1°C above average, there was a substantial increase in sales.

Similarly, although heavy rain led to widespread flooding in parts of the UK in 2012, retail sales actually rose while falling in October and December.

“In terms then of the retail sector’s sensitivity to the weather, past periods show a mixed picture with no clear relationship between the two,” said officials.  

Only severe weather events which continued for some time, such as the heavy snowfall in December 2010, were found to have any substantial effect on the UK economy.

“Only sustained extreme weather conditions can have a substantial impact upon the UK economy as a whole,” said the ONS. “The only weather event in recent years to be designated as a statistical special event by ONS was the widespread heavy snow and extremely low temperatures in December 2010.”

However, Sam Hart, retail analyst at Charles Stanley, thinks this doesn’t paint a fair picture of the sector.
“Possibly overall [the weather] doesn’t have a huge impact on retail sales but clothing retailers can be impacted by unseasonable weather,” he told Yahoo Finance UK.

File photo dated 31/03/13 of a cyclist taking a route alongside large snow drifts on the …“They generally like a spell of cold weather in the autumn that gets customers buying. Last autumn was unseasonably warm and that impacted sales.

“You generally find that in good summer weather electrical goods retailers will be affected because, rather than spend time in their stores, people will tend to do things outside.

“Obviously with the the DIY retailers, a lot of their products can be seasonal, such as barbecues and garden plants. Then there’s the food retailers that may have benefited from the good weather in the summer.

“People want to eat fresh produce and a lot of that food tends to be slightly higher margin. But it’s quite difficult to generalise. It’s incredibly company specific.”

 taken from http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/it-s-official—the-weather-has–no-effect-on-retail-sales—says-government-statisticians-165920987.html wher you can fin a video too to work on your listening skills

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