Retail sales continued to fall during December, according to the latest Office for National Statistics data.

During December, the quantity bought fell by 0.6% compared to the previous month. This was the fifth consecutive month of decline.

Sales during the three months to December 2019 also fell by 1% compared with the previous three months. This was the largest decline since March 2017.

Department store and textile, clothing and footwear store sales fell 1.8% and 2% respectively during the month of December compared with November.

The quantity of goods bought in food stores declined 1.3% – the largest decline since December 2016 when the quantity of sales dropped 1.3%.

During December online sales accounted for 19% of all retailing, up slightly from 18.6% the previous month.

Online spend in December registered a 1.6% increase when compared with November. Department stores and homeware stores recorded the most growth with increases of 15.5% and 13.7% respectively.