Sales rose 2.5% in November as shoppers remained cautious, with Christmas this year expected to be “critical”.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the total value of sales was up 2.5% in November compared with the same month last year, however this was below inflation, which stood at 2.7% during the period.
Earlier this month the British Retail Consortium (BRC) released figures which showed that clothing and footwear sector saw a marginal sales increase.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “This confirms our own findings that Christmas shopping was slow out of the starting blocks in November, as pressures on budgets and fears about the future left many of us reluctant to commit to spending early.
“But it’s the finish which matters, and the signs are that sales and shopper numbers have been building at a respectable pace throughout December, especially in recent weeks. With Christmas falling on a Tuesday this year this weekend will be the critical one – I’m expecting a last-minute rush but overall in sales terms it will be neither a bumper Christmas nor a disaster.”