The UK consumer sentiment managed to maintain its positive momentum for the month of November and registered a 0.3 percent growth over October, meeting expectations. However, the retail sales had recorded a better than expected growth for the month of October at 0.7 percent. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) had forecasted a growth of 0.5 percent for the month of October.
The growth drivers for the month of November were toys, jewellery, watches and sporting goods. Internet sales grew from 7.9 percent last year, during the same period to 10.5 percent of total sales this year. Unconfirmed data seems to suggest that buyers are physically checking out goods in stores before making online purchases.
Total sales grew by 1.1 percent over November last year, the ONS study said. ONS had previously revised its forecasted figure of 0.1 percent fall in October to an actual growth of 0.3 percent.
The ONS statistics showed a price rise of 2.3 percent in November over the same period, last year. This may stoke fears of further inflation.
The general public is already struggling with rising food inflation and the situation may aggravate further when VAT is hiked from the existing 17.5 percent to 20 percent on January 4.
A recent survey conducted by the ‘Bank of England’ showed that general public is expecting an average inflation of 3.9 percent in the next year, the highest since August 2008.
The Consumer Price Index inflation is currently at 3.3 percent, which is more than 1 percent over the targeted 2 percent announced by the central bank at the beginning of the year.