Retail sales surged significantly ahead of expectations in November as shoppers embraced Black Friday deals in the run-up to Christmas, official figures suggest.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the quantity bought in the overall UK retail industry increased by 1.7% on October while year-on-year sales registered a 5% increase.
The figures have far exceeded expectations, with economists having pencilled in a 0.5% month-on-month rise and 3.1% year-on-year.
Although Black Friday spending on the high street was considered to be subdued this year, a number of major retailers, such as Amazon and Dixons Carphone, reported record sales.
ONS head of retail sales, Melanie Richard, said: "A continued fall in prices as well as promotions in the run-up to Christmas have helped to boost the amount shoppers bought in November, both on the high street and online."