UK retail sales posted 10-year record growth in November

UK retail sales in November grew by 6.4% year-on-year, the highest increase in the quantity bought since May 2004, the Office for National Statistics reported on Thursday.

November posted the 20th successive month of retail sales growth.

In the 3-month on 3-month movement, the underlying pattern in the quantity bought continued showing growth for the 21st successive month, rising by 1.1%. This was the longest sustained stretch of expansion since November 2007.

November retail sales, calculated by quantity bought, increased by 1.6% compared to October. For the first time since December last year, growth was reported in all main store types.

Average prices in stores in November declined by 2% compared to the same month last year, the steepest fall since August 2002.

The largest contributor to the fall in prices was petrol, followed by food, which posted its sharpest decline since June 2002.

UK Retailing

Source: Office for National Statistics.

Retail sales by the amount spent rose by 4.3% in November 2014 versus November 2013, and by 1.2% compared to October 2014.

According to non-seasonally adjusted data, the average weekly spend in November in the retail industry was £7.9 billion versus £7.5 billion in November last year, and £7.1 billion in October this year.

November online sales increased in value by 2.9% versus October, and represented 11.5% of all retail sales for the month. Compared to November 2013, online retail sales grew by 12.9%.

In November, for every £1 spent in the retail industry, 42p was spent in food stores, 41p in non-food stores, 6p in non-store retailing, and 11p in stores that sell automotive fuel.

While Black Friday, which caught on much more strongly this year than in 2013, contributed to bumper sales in November, Cyber Monday did not (it fell on December 1st).