© Reuters. A person carries a Union Jack themed buying bag as he walks alongside an empty buying avenue in Blackpool, Britain, March 9, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble
By David Milliken
LONDON (Reuters) -British retail sales rose extra strongly than anticipated final month, helped by Black Friday reductions, early Christmas buying and an absence of lockdown restrictions that closed many shops a yr earlier, official figures confirmed on Friday.
Retail sales rose by 1.4% in November and have been 4.7% larger than a yr earlier, the Office for National Statistics stated.
Economists polled by Reuters had on common forecast that sales volumes would rise by 0.8% on the month and be 4.2% larger than in November 2020.
“Retail sales picked up in November, boosted by strong Black Friday and pre-Christmas trading. Clothing stores fared particularly well and have exceeded their pre-pandemic level for the first time,” ONS statistician Heather Bovill stated.
British retail sales rebounded quickly after a stoop at first of the pandemic in 2020, however had drifted decrease since a peak in April as easing COVID-19 restrictions gave shoppers a wider vary of spending choices.
Friday’s figures pre-date the unfold of the Omicron variant in Britain, which the Bank of England warned on Thursday may result in a rebound of demand for client items – a few of that are in quick provide because of supply-chain difficulties.
Previously launched knowledge from the British Retail Consortium confirmed a 5% rise in retail spending final month as consumers snapped up Black Friday reductions – lots of which have been supplied earlier in the month than in earlier years.
Trade our bodies additionally had stories of individuals buying sooner than typical for Christmas because of COVID considerations.
The pandemic led to an enormous shift in the direction of on-line buying which has solely partly reversed and accounted for 26% of spending final month. Some sectors similar to vogue additionally suffered as folks have been much less more likely to exit.
But concern over the affect of Omicron on Christmas buying and selling has elevated this week. Consumer electricals retailer Currys stated its market had softened in latest weeks, on-line vogue retailer Boohoo warned on annual revenue, and knowledge has indicated fewer consumers on Britain’s excessive streets.
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