UK Retail Sales Growth Edges Up in November

British retail sales growth picked up slightly in November, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The British Retail Consortium said the value of sales last month rose 1.2 percent on the year. This followed a 1.0 percent gain in October.

Total sales, which include new floorspace, were up 3.1 percent on the year in November, up from a 3 percent annual rise.

By themselves, the figures are unlikely to settle the debate over whether interest rates will come down from 5.75 percent this week as policymakers try to balance the prospect of slowing growth against rising inflationary pressures.

The BRC said sales growth was skewed toward the end of the month as a result of discounting. A Confederation of British Industry survey out last week, however, reported stronger sales
growth alongside a steep rise in prices.

"Womenswear has had a particularly disappointing month, but there were some positive signs in the last week of November," said Helen Dickinson, head of retail at KPMG.