The retail industry witnessed strong growth last month, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Sales volumes were up 5.3% year-on-year in December 2013, with the year as a whole seeing a rise of 1.6% compared to 2012.
Spend increased by 6.1% in December 2013, compared to a year earlier, and was up 2.6% on the previous month.
In December 2013, 42 pence in every pound was spent in food stores, with spend up 2.2% year-on-year. However the ONS said that contractions in the quantity bought in food stores, as well as on fuel, continued to offset growth in the quantity bought in non-food stores and non-store retailing.
The smaller stores experienced higher growth year-on-year, with the amount spent growing by 8.1%, compared to 2.6% in larger stores.