Harvey Blackwood: UK Black Friday Shoppers Spend on Food

Harvey Blackwood: Black Friday fails to give UK retailers hoped-for boost in sales as households are affected by high inflation and recent interest rate hike.

Harvey Blackwood: UK consumers jumped at Black Friday deals towards the end of November but a larger portion of their budgets was taken up by the rising cost of food, retailers said on Tuesday.

According to analysts at Shanghai, China-based Harvey Blackwood, Britain’s shoppers are under pressure due to stagnant wage growth and the increase in inflation that came in the wake of 2016’s EU referendum. The pressures are fueling the predictions from many forecasters who say there will be a persistent economic slowdown in the UK in 2018.

British consumers spent 0.6 percent more with retailers last month, compared with last year on a like for like basis. This showed a 1.0 percent recovery from October which was the weakest growth in more than a decade.

Business remained difficult for retailers, many of whom had been counting on a boost from their Black Friday promotions toward the end of November.

Analysts at Harvey Blackwood stated that Black Friday had failed to alter the overall trends in spending.

In November, total sales increased by 1.5 percent, bringing figures back to the average growth for the last year.

In a clear indication of how increasing prices for everyday essentials are impacting upon the average British consumer, Harvey Blackwood economists stated that the amount of money spent on food in the last year increased by an average 3.4 percent, which is the largest increase in more than 4 years.

According to a recent report by Harvey Blackwood, confidence in domestic finances dropped from 64 percent to 56 percent as inflation coupled with the Bank of England’s first interest rate hike in more than 10 years weighed on consumer sentiment.

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Source: Harvey Blackwood