Scottish retail sales outpace rest of UK

RETAIL sales in Scotland are growing faster than those in the rest of the UK, according to new Scottish Government figures.

They showed that the value of retail sales rose by 4.2 per cent in the three months to the end of September compared with the same period last year. This was higher than the 3.1 per cent across Britain.

But the data shows sales rising by only 1.1 per cent on the April to June figures, against 1.2 per cent for the UK as a whole.

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Enterprise minister Jim Mather said the figures were positive news and evidence that the Scottish Government's economic recovery plan was making a difference.

"Despite continuing financial pressures, consumer confidence is growing and people are continuing to support Scotland's retailers, which is making an important contribution to strengthening the recovery," he said.

But he warned that the spending cuts announced in Westminster threatened further recovery and said the situation highlighted the need for Scotland to secure economic powers and financial responsibility to boost recovery and growth.

The Scottish figures were announced as high street giants Boots and Next released mixed trading.