In December 2012, year-on-year estimates of retail sales volumes continued to show upward movements seen in the retail sector since August 2011 but the strength of this movement was weaker than in previous months.
Compared with December 2011, the quantity of goods bought (all retailing seasonally adjusted sales volumes) in December 2012 was estimated to have increased by 0.3%. Between the same periods the amount spent (all retailing seasonally adjusted sales values) was estimated to have increased by 0.7%.
With the exception of December 2010, when retail sales fell sharply as a result of harsh winter weather, the 0.3% year-on-year increase in the quantity bought was the lowest year-on-year growth for the month of December since 1998 (-0.4%).
Looking at the monthly picture (December 2012 compared with November 2012) both the quantity bought and the amount spent fell by 0.1%.
This December, the proportion of sales made online fell at a slower rate between November and December than seen in previous years a