Official figures have revealed a moderate increase to Scottish retail sales over the course of the first quarter of 2012.
The Scottish government statistics have shown that the volume of sales rose by 0.7 percent, with the value of the sales also increasing by 0.9 percent.
The Retail Sales Index for the country also saw a year on year by volume increase of 0.6 percent, ahead of the UK national average of 0.4 percent. The total value of sales rose by 3 percent annually.
The news will provide a welcome boost to the sector, which has struggled to cope with the economic downturn. To counter the slump, many have introduced new strategies for commercial finance. Scotland is starting to use invoice factoring more frequently for example.
Though the figures were welcomed by the government, it also warned that there are still going to be issues that will need to be faced.
Speaking about the news, the finance secretary John Swinney said:
“This expansion is welcome but the sector continues to face challenging conditions.”
A considerable factor in the increase is likely to be due to the mild and sunny temperatures enjoyed throughout the country in March. The Scottish Retail Consortium has suggested this is the case, following results of a survey which indicated overall sales performance was the best in a year.
With the weather taking a turn for the worse over recent weeks however, it is feared that the results from quarter two could be considerably down.