Scottish retail sales inched up during the second quarter of the year, official data has shown.

Sales edged up 0.6% by value compared to the previous quarter. They were flat over the year, however.

On a volume basis revenues nudged up 0.8% but were ahead 2.4% over the year, the chief statistician’s Retail Sales Index showed.

Sales at large retailers - those with at least 250 employees, and which account for almost three-quarters of total retail revenues in Scotland – were flat on the previous quarter.

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “We are working hard to support Scotland’s retailers, with the most competitive business tax environment anywhere in the UK, with 96,000 properties across all sectors of the Scottish economy paying zero or reduced business rates.

“There is positive business survey evidence and wider consumer sentiment which suggests a continued positive outlook for retail sales in Scotland.”

The Scottish Retail Consortium described the rise in retail sales in the quarter as “heartening”.

But director David Lonsdale cautioned: “With the value of retail sales over the past year as a whole decidedly flat, this suggests a continuing fragility to consumer confidence in Scotland despite lower prices in shops and average pay rises outstripping inflation.”