European stock markets climbed higher on Friday despite UK retail sales falling unexpectedly in August.
Retail sales last month fell to a surprise 0.9% slump, as people spent less in shops and instead returned to restaurants and pubs, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.
This dashed expectations of a 0.5% rise in retail sales, and comes after retailers suffered a 2.8% fall in July.
Department store sales plunged 3.7%, while sports equipment sales and computer sales fell 1.2%.
“Today’s figures should remind retailers to start planning for Christmas, which could be one of the most exciting on record, especially given restrictions last year,” Erin Brookes of Alvarez & Marsal, said.