The High Street carried on booming in November with sales 0.3 per cent up from October.

That is right, this was no typo. Neither does the finding above relate to some obscure survey.

This morning, the Office for National Statistics released its latest survey on retail sales. In the three months to November, the seasonally adjusted index for the volume of retail sales increased by 0.5 per cent over the previous three months.

Not everyone is convinced.

Vicky Redwood, UK economist at Capital Economics said: “The official measure of retail sales remains staggeringly resilient given just how bad the anecdotal and survey evidence has been… It is possible that these data give the more reliable picture and therefore suggest that price cuts are keeping consumers spending. But we very much doubt it, given the weakness of all other measures of retail sales. Yesterday’s CBI survey, for example, reached a new record low. The MPC has already indicated that is paying little attention to these figures and we have been taking the same approach. We still think that Christmas will be pretty awful for retailers and that things will get even worse next year.”

Sill, if that’s what the data says it must be right. After all, don’t they say, there’s “truth, damned truth and Statistics”.

© Investment & Business News 2013