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UK retail enjoys 'Black Friday' boost

19 Dec 2014

High street retailers have reported huge success in the wake of the national ‘Black Friday’ phenomenon which saw shops of all kinds offer sale prices in late November.

Official figures show a 6.4% increase in November compared to the same month in 2013, the highest annual increase since May 2004. On a monthly basis sales rose by 1.6%, with growth in all areas..

Friday 28 November nicknamed ‘Black Friday’ after the US annual Thanksgiving sales tradition was also the busiest day on record for online retailer Amazon UK. Its website recorded orders for more than 5.5 million goods, with about 64 items sold per second.

UK economist at Capital Economics, Maeve Johnston, said: ‘The underlying picture remains very strong. Even if retail sales volumes shrink by 1% in December to offset spending brought forward into November, they would be still 1.6% higher in the further quarter than in Q3.

‘This could boost quarterly GDP growth by 0.3 percentage points in Q4, although some of this boost may be offset by higher imports’.

However, there are fears amongst some economists that a sharp decline in prices, as shops attempt to offer better discounts than their competitors, has caused a potentially hazardous sales boom. Falling oil prices may also have contributed to the increased expenditure.