Retailers post record sales growth

Retail sales quantities rose 2.6 per cent in December 2013 compared with the previous month, according to data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures show that department stores and small shops both contributed to the growth - department stores posted a record 8.7 per cent monthly jump in sales volumes whilst small stores saw their amounts sold increase by 8.1 per cent over the same period.

Key findings include:

  • Retail sales volumes in December 2013 increased 5.3 per cent year-on-year, the biggest annual gain in nine years
  • In December 2013, the total spent in the retail industry rose by 6.1 per cent compared with December 2012
  • Average weekly internet sales values increased by 11.8 per cent in December 2013 compared with December 2012 and by 1.8 per cent compared with November 2013.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, commented on the latest figures:

"These retail sales figures are good news and will help offset some concerns that the Christmas shopping period was rather weak.

"The Government must avoid complacency, and should continue to implement measures to boost growth, particularly while risks to the recovery still linger at home and abroad."