By Jonathan Davies

The huge sales seen across the UK on Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have hit retail sales in December, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Monthly sales volumes were up by just 0.4% in December, compared with a 1.6% increase in November. But compared with Christmas 2013, sales were up 4.3%.

Average prices were down 2.2% compared with last year, largely due to the falling fuel prices. The ONS said it was the biggest annual fall since June 2002.

Keith Richardson, Managing Director Retail Sector at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “These positive figures ensure the retail sector ended the year on a high. The momentum created by Black Friday, coupled with an increase in disposable income , as a result of lower inflation, lower commodity prices and an increase in average earnings all added to a ‘feel good’ factor, that encouraged shoppers to spend, ahead of and during the key December period."

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