Bumper sales for United Kingdom retailers in November: ONS

14 December, 2017, 18:09 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • UK retail sales jump unexpectedly in November aided by Black Friday bargain shopping

Black Friday gave United Kingdom retailers a stronger-than-expected boost last month as discounts spurred Britons to snap up electrical appliances and other household products.

"The surge in retail sales in November does not signal broader consumer strength".

However, there was unexpected cheer from the country's retailers in data for November released by the Office of National Statistics that showed sales volumes increased 1.6% compared to the same period one year ago, which beat all forecasts by economists.

November's seeming strength has merely been a reflection of consumer bringing forward purchases they otherwise would have made in December or January to November, due to the discounts available on Black Friday, Pantheon said.

The data is likely to appease Central Bank of England, which for the first time raised interest rates over more than a decade last month.

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Kallum Pickering, an economist with Berenberg Bank, said the figures added to signs from factories that Britain's economy was picking up a bit of speed in late 2017 and he expected that momentum to continue into 2018.

"Household goods stores had a good November, with a number of businesses saying that Black Friday promotions boosted sales".

The data are adjusted seasonally, but the statistics agency said might not completely strip out the Black Friday effect, as the promotion period, a phenomenon that is relatively recent borrowed from the USA, has increased significantly in Britain over the past few years.

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

During the last three months overall, which smooths volatility compared to just one month, the picture is not good.

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In addition, the research found that food continued to be the smallest contribution to growth in internet sales, contributing only 0.7 percentage points.

When the United Kingdom central bank raised interest rates in early November, the regulator predicted that household consumption growth would slow to 1% next year.

Total average store prices increased by 3.1 per cent in November 2017 when compared with the same period a year ago.

But home furnishings company Carpetright CPRC.L cut forecasts after warning of fragile consumer confidence.

On a yearly basis, retail sales volume grew 1.6 percent after staying flat in October.

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