British retail sales pick up in November

UK retail sales improved slightly in November, according to figures released today by the British Retail Consortium.

Like-for-like retail sales rose by 0.4 per cent in value compared to the same month last year, after falling 0.1 percent in October. Despite this analysts had hoped for stronger growth.

Total retail sales rose 1.8 per cent in value terms on the year, up from 1.1 percent growth in October. But with inflation running at 2.7 per cent, this suggests that retail sales volumes are still falling.

"November was off to a flying start helped by end-of-month paydays, mid-season sales and the impact of half term, which had been in the previous month last year," said Stephen Robertson, head of the British Retail Consortium.

"But sales growth slowed as November unfolded, suggesting that customers are taking care not to spend too much too soon, although must-have toy and technology items did well as people bought early so as not to be disappointed.