Retail sales up 0.6pc in December

UK retail sales volumes rose by 0.6 per cent in December, official figures show, after heavy discounting by stores.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also said that sales rose by 2.6 per cent over the year to December.

The sales figure for November was revised down to show a fall of 0.5 per cent, rather than the 0.4 per cent originally estimated.

Retailers, including Marks and Spencer, have said that they marked prices down sharply in the run-up to Christmas.