Shoppers are facing the biggest price rises in 30 years this Christmas after fears of availability issues sent customers racing to shops in November.

NEW golden quarter logo black (Nov 2021)

The warnings come after a survey of retailers published by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) found prices had rocketed amid customer concerns over empty shelves. 

The CBI said its monthly retail sales balance, which asks retailers to say if annual sales growth is rising or falling, rose to a three-month high of +39 in November from +30 in October.

The balance of retailers passing on these costs to consumers also rise, from +16 in May to +77 in November, which the CBI said was the highest recorded since 1991.

Increased prices and buoyant sales will increase the pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates when officials meet in December. 

CBI economist Ben Jones told The Guardian: “Christmas seems to have come early for retailers with clothing and department stores, in particular, seeing a big upward swing in sales volumes in November.”

This comes as customers are expected to spend more than £8.7bn during Black Friday – 15% more than last year when the country was in its second lockdown.

Jones added: “Overall, retailers are becoming more optimistic, with both employment growth and investment intentions picking up strongly. Cost pressures remain a very real concern, however.”

  • Don’t miss the best of the week – sign up to receive the Editor’s Choice every Friday