Black Friday sales deliver huge boost to retail sector

Squeezed consumers boosted retail sales last month as they snapped up bargains during Black Friday

Squeezed consumers boosted retail sales last month as they snapped up bargains during Black Friday Isabel Infantes PA

Excluding auto fuel, retail sales volume growth improved to 1.2 percent from 0.4 percent in the previous month.

Last month, however, because of the exceptionally good Black Friday offers, consumers were up and the stores reported good sales growth.

The figures contrast with a subdued start to Christmas spending after a weak October that had led economists to conclude that consumers were feeling the squeeze from rising inflation, which hit its highest level in almost six years last month, at a time when wages are failing to keep up.

"The boost from Black Friday will be fleeting", Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Macroeconomics said. Those sales will fall into the December data.

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.

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.

According to the Office for National Statistics, sales growth for November was at 1.1 per cent, against gloomy forecasts that it would be just 0.4 per cent.

Nintendo Switch Sales Surpass 10 Million Unit Mark
It has been revealed that Nintendo sold more Nintendo Switch consoles in its first nine months than Wii U units in its lifetime . McNealy, chief executive at Digital World Research, the gaming industry was ripe for something fresh like the Nintendo Switch .

But the picture was less rosy when comparing the past three months with the same period a year earlier - smoothing out monthly volatility. Sales over the three-month period to November increased only 1% in comparison with the same three months in 2017 and were the weakest dating back to May of 2013.

Retail sales have returned to steady growth since a sharp slow down earlier this year as higher inflation began to kick in.

Food prices are rising at their fastest rate in four years, adding to the squeeze on household budgets.

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

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

Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said after a disappointing October, it was good to see retail sales picking up again in November.

Latest News