Office for National Statistics figures have shown strong retail sales growth in December 2013, increasing by 5.3 per cent compared with December 2012.
Comparing the 12 months of 2013 with the 12 months of 2012 the quantity bought in 2013 increased by 1.6 per cent compared with 2012.
Non-seasonally adjusted data show that small stores experienced higher growth year-on-year than large stores, with the amount spent in small stores increasing by 8.1 per cent compared with 2.6 per cent in large stores.
Non-food stores provided the main contribution to the growth in the amount spent at small stores.
Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in December 2013 was £8.8 billion compared with £8.5 billion in December 2012 and £7.5 billion in November 2013.
Internet sales, which are seasonally adjusted for the first time in this release, increased by 11.8 per cent in December 2013 compared with December 2012 and by 1.8 pr cent compared with November 2013.
Garden Centre Association figures show December 2013 was 5.1 per cent up against December 2012.