LONDON Dec 10 Britain's retailers enjoyed their
strongest monthly sales growth for 14 months in November, helped
by a return to growth in the fashion sector for the first time
since January, industry data showed on Saturday.
UK high street sales rose 1.7 percent year-on-year in
November, according to BDO, the accountancy and business
Like-for-like growth in the fashion sector was 1.5 percent,
Robust growth in consumer spending has been one of the main
things sustaining Britain's economy since June's vote to leave
the European Union. But many retailers expect to have to raise
prices next year, probably squeezing consumer demand.
"Consumer spending may appear to be robust for now as many
people are having a final shopping spree while the economy is
exceeding growth expectations," Sophie Michael, head of retail
and wholesale at BDO, said.
"(But) the challenges facing retailers continue to mount,
which will inevitably impact on retailers' costs and consumers'
disposable income and the question is 'when' not 'if' the
spending squeeze will come."
The BDO data contrasts with more subdued numbers from the
British Retail Consortium, published on Dec. 6 - a disparity
which may be partly explained by the slightly longer period of
the BDO data.
(Reporting by James Davey. Editing by Jane Merriman)