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ONS Retail Sales November 2021

  • Retail sales (value, non-seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel) rose by 5.8% year-on-year (YoY) in November, against a strong 7.3% increase a year earlier according to the latest ONS data.
  • Sales in November were supported by earlier than normal Christmas trading, and the period includes Black Friday but excludes Cyber Monday.
  • In volume terms, retail sales increased by 3.8% in November on the previous year, and edged up 1.1% compared to October (seasonally adjusted, exc. fuel) .
  • But previous pressure on retail sales is being reflected in the quarterly sales trend, with the three-month-on-three-month growth rate down by 0.7% in the quarter to November (volume, seasonally adjusted).

Retail sales (volume, seasonally adjusted) – 3-months on previous 3-months

Source: ONS

Food and non-food

  • Food store sales rose declined by 0.5% YoY in November, against a 7.4% surge in sales a year earlier during the second national lockdown (value, non-seasonally adjusted).
  • Clothing sales recovered in November, with sales rocketing 56.9% YoY compared to a 31.9% decline last year – with sales ahead of 2019 levels (value, non-seasonally adjusted, all businesses).
  • Home-related categories have come under pressure of late against strong base effects and stock shortages. This saw Household Goods decline by 5.9% YoY in November, but remain comfortably ahead of 2019 levels.
  • But compared to mandated store closures in November 2020, Furniture and Lighting stores sales increased 7.8% YoY in November 2021 (-4.3% last year), while sales of Floor Coverings more than doubled at 136.8% (-52.2% last year – value, non-seasonally adjusted).


  • Online sales (non-seasonally adjusted, excluding automotive fuel) declined by 14.4% YoY in November against a strong 85.1% rise a year earlier.
  • The proportion of retail sales made online was 30.1% in November – down from 37.2% in the previous year, but up from 26.4% in the previous month.

Retail sales price deflator

  • The retail sales deflator (a measure of inflation specific to retail) excluding fuel stepped up by 4.4% YoY in November against a 1.2% decline a year earlier, and rose 6.0% when including fuel against a 1.8% decrease last year.
  • The implied price deflator among food stores increased by 3.4% YoY – its strongest rate in since January 2018 – and rose by 4.8% among non-food stores.

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