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Even before the bumper sales day that is Black Friday, UK shoppers have been hitting the high street hard in November with a measure of UK retail sales climbing to its best level since September 2015, according to figures compiled by the Confederation for Business Industry.

The CBI’s numbers are in line with other indicators suggesting buoyant consumer demand despite the Brexit vote.

According to the CBI’s indicator, the monthly retail sales balance rose to +26 in November, accelerating from the +21 hit in October and far exceeding the +12 forecast by economists. It had slumped at its fastest pace since 2012 in the first month after the Brexit vote.

In further encouraging news, the balance for sales expectations also climbed to its highest level of 2016.

Drawn from surveys of 126 UK retail-related businesses, including wholesales and motor sellers, the CBI’s figures show sales were driven by clothing, hardware and DIY in November.

Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the business lobby said UK retailers are expecting costs to rise on the back of higher import prices.

“While we expect to see decent growth in the near term, retailers are keeping a close eye on price rises coming down the track and the impact on consumer spending”, said Ms Newton-Smith.

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