By Daniel Hunter

Retail sales increased by 5.3% in December, compared to a year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

There was also an increase of 2.6% compared with November 2013’s retail sales, which represents the biggest monthly increase for nine years.

ONS said retail sales grew much more in smaller stores than bigger stores, with the amount spent increasing by 8.1% and 2.6% respectively. Non-food products were the main contributors to the large growth in retail sales in December.

According to the figures, all store types saw growth. But the most notable growth was seen in retail sales at department stores, which increased by 8.7%.

The ONS also highlighted another increase in online retail sales as sales grew by 11.8% compared with December 2012.

These figures are much higher than the recent ones issued by the British Retail Consortium (BRC). It reported annual growth in retail sales of just 1.8% But the BRC only covers the UK’s high street chains.

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