UK Retailers Get Black Friday Boost as Sales Jump 1.1%

Image      The number of people in work fell by 56,000 in the three months to October

Image The number of people in work fell by 56,000 in the three months to October

The ONS data showed the volume of food purchased was 0.1 percent lower than a year before, while spending on food was up by 3.5 percent.

The volume of goods bought in the United Kingdom rose by 1.1 per cent compared with October and was 1.6 per cent higher than a year ago, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

On a monthly basis, sales volumes were 1.1 percent higher than in October, including a 2.9 percent lift in sales of household goods stores as shoppers snapped up electrical items.

Black Friday gave United Kingdom retailers a stronger-than-expected boost last month as discounts spurred Britons to snap up electrical appliances and other household products.

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Excluding petrol, sales were up 1.2% on the month, versus a 0.4% consensus and a revised 0.4% from the prior month.

Sales were forecast to grow marginally by 0.4 percent after expanding 0.5 percent in October.

Food store sales increased at a faster pace of 0.6 percent and non-food store sales advanced 1.5 percent.

The market reaction was muted and some economists said the surge in retail sales might reflect Christmas spending being brought forward to take advantage of Black Friday discounts.

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The figures may provide some reassurance to the Bank of England, which raised interest rates for the first time in over a decade last month and will publish its latest rate decision at 1200 GMT.

In addition, the research found that food continued to be the smallest contribution to growth in internet sales, contributing only 0.7 percentage points.

ONS admitted that its seasonal adjustment may not fully account for a longer Black Friday sales period, with this set of data covering the period up to 25 November, while Cyber Monday sales from 27 November will be included in the next set of figures.

Black Friday is an import from the USA, where it takes place on the day after Thanksgiving and is regarded as the start of the Christmas shopping period. While inflation is expected to subside from its current level above 3 percent, wages may continue to lag behind for much of next year.

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