Retail sales data, November 2016 - PwC comments

Published at 10:40 AM on 17 November 2016

In response to the latest retail sales data, John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, commented: 

“Today's retail sales figures confirm the vibrancy of consumer spending in the post-referendum economy. After a strong July, retail sales volumes flattened off in August and September, but bounced up again in October, helped by colder weather boosting winter clothing sales. But all retail sub-sectors have shown solid growth over the past year, particularly internet sales, which were up 27% on October 2015 in value terms.

“Strong retail sales growth reflects continued rises in employment and, at least for the moment, positive real earnings growth. It suggests consumer spending started the fourth quarter with considerable momentum and this could carry through into the critical Christmas period. But we do expect some slowdown next year as the labour market cools down and rising import prices squeeze the real spending power of shoppers.”

Commenting on the impact for retailers, John Ellis, retail & consumer partner at PwC, added: 

“Over the next few months, the way in which retailers deal with cost headwinds, particularly the impact of foreign exchange on product prices, will be crucial for consumers' future spending patterns. In addition, in the short term, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will impact many retailers, providing a welcome boost to sales. In our recent consumer survey, we predict that the total spend over that weekend will increase by 38% compared to last year."


For further information please contact Tilly Parke: [email protected] / +44 20 7804 8761 or Stephen Young: [email protected] / +44 20 7213 3645


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