UK retailers enjoy bumper Black Friday sales, finds ONS

Despite rising inflation and slow wage growth, retail sales volumes were 1.6 percent higher than a year earlier, up from a flat performance in October and beating all forecasts in a Reuters poll that had pointed to annual growth of just 0.3 percent.The figures are likely to reassure the Bank of England, which raised interest rates for the first time in more than a decade last month and will publish their latest rate decision at 1200 GMT.

British consumers have generally felt squeezed this year as rising inflation – driven mostly by the pound’s fall after June 2016’s Brexit vote – increasingly outstripped sluggish pay growth.But last month shoppers splashed out, with household good stores reporting especially strong sales growth due to Black Friday promotions, the Office for National Statistics said.On the month, overall retail sales were 1.1 percent higher, up from growth of 0.5 percent in October and economists’ forecasts of a 0.4 percent rise.The ONS data are seasonally adjusted, but the agency said that this may not fully strip out the effect of Black Friday, as the length of the promotion period has increased in Britain in recent years.Looking at the past three months as a whole, which smooths out monthly volatility, the picture is gloomierคำพูดจาก Web Game Casino . Sales in the three months to November grew by just 1.0 percent compared with a year earlier, the weakest since May 2013.When the BoE raised interest rates on Nov. 2, it forecast real-terms household consumption growth would slow to 1 percent next year from 1.5 percent predicted for this year as demand shifted towards business investment and exports.Official data earlier this week showed that consumer price inflation rose to its highest in nearly six years at 3.1 percent in November, while the number of people in work fell for a second consecutive month.Food prices are rising at their fastest rate in four years, and the ONS data showed the volume of food purchased was 0.1 percent lower than a year before.This week British electronics retailer Dixons Carphone said it had enjoyed record sales during November’s Black Friday promotion, despite weak demand for mobile phones that hit profits, but home furnishings company Carpetright cut forecasts after warning of fragile consumer confidence.Credit card company Visa reported the first year-on-year fall in inflation-adjusted spending in five years in November as Britons cut back on big purchases such as new cars and Christmas travel, and spent instead on cheaper treats. 
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