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Black Friday helps retail sales rise


Black Friday has caused UK retail sales to rise at their fastest annual rate for more than 10 years in November, official figures have shown.

Sales rose by 6.4% in November this year compared to last year, the highest annual increase since May 2004. There was growth in all areas for the first time since December 2013, and on a monthly basis they rose 1.6%.

The Black Friday discounts meant that electrical sales jumped 32% from a year earlier and department sales went up by 15%. These were both the biggest increases since records began in 1988. Online sales increased by 12.9% compared with last year.

The surge in sales throughout November has led experts to believe that December will see sales fall, as they in 2013.

Natalie Berg from Planet Retail, a retail data group, said:

"These numbers verify the shift in spending patterns happening in the final quarter of the year. Black Friday led to unprecedented demand,

"What we don't know is to what extent did this simply bring spending forward. I suspect it slowed in the first couple of weeks in December."

Even with the increase in sales, average retail prices have fallen by 2% compared to last year, which is the largest fall since August 2002 and is mainly due to the large drop in oil prices. Prices at food stores were also lower, recording their largest fall in since June 2002.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce said:

"The decline in store prices reflects fierce competition in the retail sector and provides further evidence that inflation will fall below 1% in the coming months"

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