Retail sales rise in October as Christmas arrives early

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Retail sales volumes rose 0.8% in October as shoppers started shopping for Christmas gifts early, official figures show.

The monthly increase included a 4.2% jump in non-food sales, with people buying clothing, toys and sports equipment.

It follows warnings from companies urging consumers to buy early for the holiday season, fearing that supply chain issues mean fewer products are available.

5 things to start your day

1) Finiti CEO Zia Chishti was kicked out following a sexual assault complaint.

2) Unilever sold its tea business, including PG Tips and Lipton, for 4.5 billion euros.

3) France must raise the retirement age and reduce inflated public spending to put its finances in order, says the OECD.

4) Apple has given its electric car projects a boost, opting for a fully automated, driverless design.

5) A third of stores are running out of crisps following a problem at a Walkers factory.

What happened during the night

Asian stocks missed a global rally on Friday as disappointing earnings from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba heightened concerns about slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy. The MSCI’s largest Asia-Pacific stock index outside of Japan fell 0.4% and was forecast for a weekly decline of 1%, even after a strong overnight performance on Wall Street boosted by optimistic business profits. The Nikkei outperformed, however, rising 0.5% after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced a new stimulus package with spending worth around 56 trillion yen (£ 363 billion).

Coming today

  • Business: Future (Annual results); Great Portland Estates, Wincanton (Interim); Kingfisher (Commercial update)
  • Economy: Consumer confidence (UK), retail (UK), public sector borrowing (UK)
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