Retail sales climbed at their strongest pace for 11 months in November as the high street was boosted by the “Black Friday” surge, official figures showed today.
Sales volumes grew by 1.6 per cent month on month as retailers stepped up their pre-Christmas offers, the biggest increase since a 2.7 per cent boom in December last year.
There was growth in all types of stores for the first time since last December, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Year-on-year growth of 6.4 per cent was the best since May 2004, although last year’s November figures did not include Black Friday trading.
Customers were attracted by average store prices which were down two per cent compared with the same month last year, the largest fall since August 2002.
This was mainly driven by petrol stations, although prices in food stores showed their largest decrease since June 2002 - down by one per cent.
The month onmonth growth was much better than the expected 0.4 per cent increase and helped sterling spike by a cent against both the US dollar and the euro.
Black Friday helped electrical appliance sales increase by 32 per cent compared with the same month last year, though by value they were up 21.5 per cent showing the impact of discounting in shifting stock.
Year-on-year retail growth was driven by non-food store volume sales up 10.8 per cent with department stores rising 15.5 per cent and textile, clothing and footwear retailers up 4.9 per cent and household goods shops up 16.8 per cent.
Grocers saw a 1.5 per cent year-on-year increase, much smaller than the other sectors but the best figure in seven months, during a tough period for supermarkets.