Black Friday delivers retail sales boost

14 December, 2017, 16:43 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • By David Milliken and William Schomberg

However, the amount of money spent jumped by 3.5%, reflecting a rise in food prices that has contributed to the increase in inflation, which is now at a near six-year high of 3.1%.

Officials at the Office for National Statistics said the American-inspired promotional event helped to drive a 1.1% increase in the number of goods bought in November from a month ago, with sales of electrical household appliances making the biggest contribution to growth.

Likewise, excluding auto fuel, retail sales rose 1.5 percent versus nil growth in the previous month and the expected increase of 0.2 percent.

On an annual basis, retail sales grew 1.3%, surging past expectations calling for a 0.3% gain.

Sales in November were up 1.1 per cent on October, with household goods growing faster at 2.9 per cent. Department stores, however, saw their sales fall by 0.9% which the ONS said "continues a recent pattern of slowdown in this sector".

The ONS survey period ended on November 25, the day after Black Friday.

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Following the report, traded at 1.3452 from around 1.3447 ahead of the release of the data, was at 0.8792 from 0.8789 earlier, while traded at 151.72 compared to 151.76 before the report.

The figures may provide some reassurance to the Bank of England, which raised interest rates for the first time in over a decade last month and will publish its latest rate decision at 1200 GMT.

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.

ONS admitted that its seasonal adjustment may not fully account for a longer Black Friday sales period, with this set of data covering the period up to 25 November, while Cyber Monday sales from 27 November will be included in the next set of figures.

The figures may do little to alter the underlying picture for the British consumer in the crucial Christmas shopping period.

Analysts had expected November's reading to advance by just 0.4%.

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