December sales boost flattered by 2010’s snow

HOPE for the British high street was boosted this morning by figures showing a sharp increase in retail sales for December, compared to the key Christmas period the previous year.

Like-for-like retail sales were up 2.2 per cent, while total sales -- which include newly developed shop floor space -- jumped by 4.1 per cent.

However, the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which compiles the data, said that 2010’s extreme snow storms had flattered the comparatives.

In the three months to December, a less volatile comparison, like-for-like sales were up just 0.2 per cent, while total sales rose by 2.3 per cent -- well below current levels of inflation.