Belfast Telegraph

UK retail sales up despite rise in inflation

By Josie Clarke

UK retail sales remained stronger than expected last month as businesses reported a Black Friday sales boost despite pressure on household incomes.

Sales in November were up 1.6% on the same time last year despite rising inflation and stagnant wage growth, the Office for National Statistics figures show.

Three-month figures, which even out short-term fluctuations, also show growth, with the quantity of goods bought up 0.8%.

Household stores had a particularly strong November with sales up 2.9%, boosting the monthly increase in the quantity bought across all stores to 1.1% on October.

Retailer feedback suggested that Black Friday events contributed to the monthly increase for household goods stores, with electrical household appliances making the largest contribution to the growth.

The growth comes as average store prices increased by 3.1% compared with November last year, with food stores having the largest rise of 3.6% since September 2013.

ONS senior statistician Rhian Murphy said: "Underlying retail sales growth remained reasonably strong in the last few months.

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

Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said: "Given the continued resilience of consumer sentiment, we're optimistic that Christmas shopping sales in December will hold up."

Belfast Telegraph

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