Poor retail sales triggered by bad weather

Retail sales in December were hit by the dire weather – with no year-on-year growth for the first time since 1991.

The volume of retail sales was unchanged from the previous year, the Office for National Statistics said.

It is the first time there has been no growth in retail sales volume in a December since 1991.

But the value of retail sales rose two per cent.

Falling sales of food and fuel were responsible for the flat figures, with rising sales of winter clothing failing to make up for them.

The volume of sales in shops selling mainly food was down 3.4 per cent from December 2009, which was the worst performance since records began in 1988.