The UK retail sales volumes grew in the year to December for the first time in seven months. However, research group the CBI said the sales poor this time of year.
41 per cent of companies saw sales increase on last December with 32 per cent reporting a fall, giving a 9 per cent balance.
Volumes of sales were considered low for the time of year with a balance of -16 per cent.
Supermarkets saw their sales volumes rise 52 per cent on the same period last year. Recreational goods – including toys and games – saw a healthy rise of 44 per cent.
Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI distributive trades panel and ASDA CFO, said: “Early discounting helped retailers add a little extra sparkle to their sales in December, although the reprieve appears to only be temporary as they don’t expect sales to continue to grow into January.
“Consumers are continuing to hold off on purchasing big ticket items, including durable household goods, preferring to use their hard-earned cash to stock up for Christmas dinner and all important gifts for the family.”
Among wholesalers, 52 per cent saw a rise in sales volume while nine per cent reported a fall.