Image: Georgie Pauwels Image: Georgie Pauwels

Retail sales in the UK jumped back up in January after a slow December, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said sales were up 1% compared with December, when they had fallen 0.7%. And compared with January 2018 sales were up a significant 4.2%, the biggest annual rise since December 2016.

The ONS said discounts among clothing retailers were the main driving force behind the figures. It said clothing prices dropped at their fastest rate since August 2016. The industry saw a lull in sales following England's run in at the football World Cup in the summer, and January's results suggest it is returning to normal.

"Clothing stores saw strong sales, luring consumers with price reductions, with food sales also growing after a slight dip after Christmas," said ONS statistician Rhian Murphy.