Belfast Telegraph

Retail sales slow after 14-year high as fuel prices shoot up

UK retail sales slowed from October's 14-year high last month as fuel prices increased at the fastest rate since 2011.

Black Friday boosted sales, particularly of electronics, but the overall rate of growth slowed to 5.9% year-on-year from October's 7.2%, Office for National Statistics figures show.

Fuel sales dropped to their lowest levels in two years since the fastest price rise since 2011.

The figures show that the measure of inflation used in calculating retail sales turned positive for the first time since June 2014, with the largest contribution to the increase coming from petrol stations.

Earlier this week the ONS said inflation reached a two-year high last month, squeezing families with higher price tags for clothing, food and petrol.

Annual sales growth, excluding fuel, slowed slightly less than economists had predicted, dropping to 6.6% from 7.5%.

ONS senior statistician Kate Davies said: "Retailers saw continued growth in the run up to Christmas. Department stores and household goods stores had a particularly strong month, especially in sales of electronic goods, boosted by Black Friday deals.

"Annual growth in fuel sales, however, was at its lowest level for almost two years as prices increased at the fastest rate since 2011."

Retail sales volumes were up just 0.2% compared with 1.8% growth in October, with clothing sales dropping by 1.4% after strong growth the previous month when the weather became colder.

The amount spent online increased by 24.9% compared with November last year and by 3% compared with October 2016.

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