United Kingdom retail sales win Black Friday boost

14 December, 2017, 16:03 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Bumper sales for UK retailers in November: ONS

Excluding fuel, the rise was 1.5 per cent, more than three times the 0.4 per cent expected.

Retail sales grew 1.6 per cent in the year to November, figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed this morning, compared with expectations of a rise of just 0.3 per cent.

The figures suggest consumers are willing to keep spending despite the sharpest rise in inflation for nearly six years, driven by the higher cost of importing goods to the United Kingdom as a effect of the pound's weakness since the Brexit vote.

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Household goods stores specifically reported that Black Friday promotions had boosted sales, the ONS said, with the amount of electrical household appliances sold jumping by almost 9 percent compared with October. "The boost from Black Friday will be fleeting", Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Macroeconomics said. "The official data are failing to fully adjust for the new seasonal pattern generated by Black Friday, which only gained traction in the United Kingdom three years ago", said economists at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Black Friday sales helped retail sales soar past forecast in November as Britons splashed on household goods, official data released on Thursday (14 December) showed.

Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said after a disappointing October, it was good to see retail sales picking up again in November.

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The 1.1% growth in November was the strongest monthly figure since April.

However, average store prices increased by 3.1% in November compared with the same time past year, with shoppers feeling the 3.6% rise in food prices - the highest rise since September 2013. Food prices are rising at their fastest rate in four years, adding to the squeeze on household budgets.

Retail sales have returned to steady growth since a sharp slow down earlier this year as higher inflation began to kick in.

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ONS senior statistician Rhian Murphy told media: "Household goods stores had a good November, with a number of businesses saying that Black Friday promotions boosted sales".

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