Retail sales surged ahead of expectations in November as shoppers embraced Black Friday deals in the run-up to Christmas, official figures suggest.
The Office for National Statistics said the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 1.7 per cent on October while year-on-year sales registered a five per cent increase.
The figures have far exceeded expectations, with economists having pencilled in a 0.5 per cent month-on-month rise and 3.1 per cent year-on-year.
While spending on the high street was considered subdued this year, a number of major retailers including mobile phone retailer Dixons Carphone, John Lewis and Amazon reported record sales.
Dixons Carphone hailed the one-day shopping bonanza as a “great start” to the Christmas season after it increased the number of promotional deals by a third over 2014.
ONS head of retail sales Melanie Richard said: “A continued fall in prices as well as promotions in the run-up to Christmas have helped to boost the amount shoppers bought in November, both on the high street and online, with the biggest increases coming from department stores and household goods retailers.”
The ONS said average store prices, including petrol stations, were down 3.3 per cent on November last year, the 17th consecutive month of year-on-year falls.