UK retail sales slip 0.4% as households feel inflation pinch

on Dec 16, 2022
  • British retail sales for November 2022 unexpectedly fell by 0.4% amid the ongoing inflation crisis.
  • The month-on-month decline came despite the ‘Black Friday’ shopping offers.
  • The data suggests many households continue to face tough times amid rising consumer prices.

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UK retail sales suffered an unexpected drop in November as the cost-of-living crisis deepened, signaling a continuing financial struggle for many households.

Data released earlier today showed that retail sales volumes fell 0.4% last month, down from a 0.9% increase in October. The decline in UK retail sales over November was cooler than the expected 0.3% rise economists had projected in a Reuters’ poll, the publication reported on Friday.

Retail sales 0.7% below pre COVID-19 level

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The latest data shows retail sales in November were 5.9% lower compared to readings from a year ago. Also notably, they remain about 0.7% off its pre COVID-19 level.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), online retailers saw a notable drop in volume, with ‘Black Friday’ holiday offers seemingly not having the same impact it’s had over the years. Commenting on the overall retail sales data, ONS Director of Economic Statistics Darren Morgan said:

“Department stores and household goods shops did report increased sales, with these retailers telling us a longer period of ‘Black Friday’ discounting did boost sales.”

But the sales volume for November did not include data from online sales recorded on ‘Cyber Monday” the ONS noted. These statistics from 28 November showed volumes also fell and will reflect in December’s data.

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