Retail sales for November easily beat analyst expectations as the UK consumer appears determined to give the economy a strong start to the new year.
Core retail saales rose 6.6% on an annualised basis, ahead of expectations for 6.1%.
Monthly retail sales rose 0.2% taking the annualised headline figure to 5.8%.
“The retail sector has been in fine fettle since Brexit and, although today’s figures aren’t as strong as October’s, there’s plenty of reason to believe that shoppers will continue to spend well over the festive period," says Paul Sirani, Chief Market Analyst at Xtrade.
The jobs market appears to be strong, with job security and wages both looking solid, and Brexit is yet to really take its toll on prices.
“Yet the forecast for rising inflation next year is a big worry for consumers. Prices look set to soar in 2017 and households could be put under huge strain,” says Sirani.
The Pound showed little response to the data and remains under pressure against the US Dollar which was boosted by the US Federal Reserve overnight.
Gains are held against the Euro - but even here direction is being taken from global drivers.