SCOTLAND’S economy looks to be on the road to recovery despite disappointing figures highlighting spending trends in the licensed trade.
Over the course of the year, on trade sales were down 5% and down 6% over the last 12 weeks – off trade sales were down 2% for the year, but up 3% for the last 12 weeks.
A WSTA Market Report for the third quarter of the year showed the money being spent in both the on and off trade sectors of the market.
And despite some disappointing figures, there was cause for optimism when looking at the figures in more depth.
The figures support a growth in the UK economy of 0.7%, with the Bank of England predicting a continued growth of 0.6% for the remainder of the year.
Spirit sales in licensed premises across the UK were up 5% over the last 12 weeks, up 1% for the year.
That was supported by a surge in volume sales of malt whisky for the quarter of 45% in the on trade with wine sales up 1% also.
The figures give an indication of market recovery, with most of the figures pointing to increased expenditure at licensed premises.
However, RTD sales in the on trade fell by 3% over the year and by 24% in the
latest 12 weeks.
Overall spirit sales in the off-trade remained unchanged in the short term,
but liqueur sales were up 12%, whilst off trade Champagne sales suffered the biggest category fall, down 13% in the short term and 4% over the year.
Unsurprisingly, Cider and Perry sales enjoyed a ‘summer bounce’, up 12% for the year, although annual growth was flat.
Positive trends show malt whisky and liqueurs overtaking Champagne, with annual volume figures growing by 14% and 11% respectively – Champagne continues to see growth of 6%.
Imported whisky’s short term growth increased over the quarter by 8%, but remains in slight annual decline of 1% and vodka remains in decline, however, performance improved this period.
In the wine sector Champagne remains the best performer, whilst sparking wine remains stable. Still wine volume turns to growth over both time periods driven by the performance of red wine, up from 1% to 7% over the quarter. Rosé and white wine have declined over both time periods.