Retail sales in the U.K. experienced a stronger-than-expected increase in November, driven by Black Friday discounts and lower inflation. This positive uptick in sales offers hope for improving lackluster economic growth as the year comes to a close.

According to the Office for National Statistics, total retail-trade volume rose by 1.3% compared with October, surpassing economists' projections of a 0.5% climb.

The boost in sales can be attributed to wider discounting during the Black Friday period, when retailers significantly reduce prices to attract customers. Nonfood sales, particularly computer equipment, toys, and cosmetics, were notably spiked by Black Friday promotions. However, supermarket sales saw a more modest increase due to customers stocking up early for Christmas.

This increase in sales presents a positive outlook for the U.K. economy, which saw a slight contraction in the third quarter after a period of stagnation in the second quarter. As consumer confidence begins to recover from high price inflation, shoppers are feeling more comfortable spending during the crucial holiday season.

Although this news brings some cheer to retailers, experts caution that consumer confidence may take longer to fully recover. Capital Economics' Alex Kerr predicts that weak confidence will continue to hamper real consumer spending in the coming months.

With national inflation dropping to 3.9% in November, there are signs of improvement, but sustained recovery may require more time.

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