The volume of goods bought in the retail sector rose 0.3% year-on-year in December 2012 – the lowest growth since December 1998, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Value growth stood at +0.7% year-on-year.

Online purchases rose by 1.2% compared to December last year, with drop of 0.1% compared to November 2012 – less than usually seen, according to the ONS.

Internet sales made 10.6% of all retail sales over the period.

The ‘predominantly food stores’ sector saw an increase in spend of 1.7% compared to the same period in 2011. The price of goods sold in this sector increased by 3%, and the quantity bought fell by 1% over the same period, reported the ONS.

While the amount spent in supermarkets stayed the same, spend in specialist food stores fell over the period.

During the five week period, from 25 November to 29 December 2012, the total amount spent in the retail sector was £43 billion (non-seasonally adjusted), compared to £42bn in December 2011.