United Kingdom retail sales are rising much faster than expected

United Kingdom retail sales are rising much faster than expected

United Kingdom retail sales are rising much faster than expected

United Kingdom retail sales increased 1.1% between October and November, while year-on-year growth rose 1.6%, official statistics reveal.

Spending in terms of cash was 4.7% higher.

"The boost from Black Friday will be fleeting", Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Macroeconomics said.

Ruth Gregory, UK economist at Capital Economics, said the strength of November's sales might simply have meant spending brought forward from December, potentially knocking growth in the run-up to Christmas.

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.

Household electrical appliances led growth in sales, partly due to reduced prices during the Black Friday sales.

With three of the last four November retail sales prints from the ONS have risen in excess of 1% and from 2014 to 2016 the level of seasonally adjusted sales in the month have been above the 12-month average, the statistical authority was felt to be struggling to adjust to the effects of the new seasonal sales regime.

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 US, has increased significantly in Britain over the past few years.

Black Friday boosted high street sales and helped retailed post'reasonably strong results in the run-up to Christmas
Black Friday boosted high street sales and helped retailed post'reasonably strong results in the run-up to Christmas

Looking at the past three months as a whole, which smoothes out monthly volatility, the picture is gloomier. City economists had forecast growth of 0.4%.

Official data earlier this week showed that consumer price inflation rose to its highest in almost six years at 3.1 percent in November, while the number of people in work fell for a second consecutive month.

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

On a month-on-month basis, sales rose 1.1 per cent, compared with expectations of a 0.4 per cent rise.

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".

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

One economist from a bank in London said that the figures for retail sales added to signs from the nation's factories that the economy of Britain has picked up some momentum late in 2017 and he believed the momentum would continue into next year.


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