UK retail sales rise 0.6% in December
Figures released by The Office for National Statistics have shown that retail sales volumes grew 0.6% month-on-month in December compared to a 0.5% decline in the previous month.
The ONS said that sales were 2.6% higher than in December 2010 as retailers began discounting earlier than usual.
The monthly increase was largely driven by a rise in clothing and footwear sales, which were 6.3% higher compared with a year ago. However sales of household goods fell 2.4% month-on-month.
Consumers spent a total £42.1 billion in the retail sector in December, compared to £29 billion the previous month and £39 billion in the same month last year.
In the three months to end December, retail sales increased by 1.1%, the biggest quarterly gain since the quarter ending August 2010. From a year earlier, three-month sales were up 1.4%.
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