Black Friday helped provide a surprise boost to November retail sales, which grew an unexpected 3.8% year on year. The marketing gimmick helped lift retail sales by 3.5% from October to November. Economists had predicted a 0.4% contraction. First National Bank senior economic analyst Jason Muscat said on Wednesday: "The contraction in October, followed by a bumper print in November suggests consumers delayed purchases in the first month of the [fourth] quarter in order to take advantage of Black Friday deals in November. "The likelihood of this being the … driver of the revival is given credence by the 3.5% … jump from October." Positive contributors were general dealers, which recorded a 4.7% rise in sales and hardware, and pharma retailers expanded, documenting sales growth of 5.4% and 4.9% respectively. However, food and beverage sales moderated to 2.7%, from 5.1% in October. Constrained spending by consumers saw furniture sales contracting 0.8% year on year. Clothing retailers w...

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