Retail sales climbed 0.8 per cent in January – a marked improvement on the 0.2 per cent fall recorded for December – according to the Office for National Statistics.

Food retail sales rose 0.7 per cent during the month, while sales at non-food stores increased 0.4 per cent. Household goods stores achieved a 4.3 per cent uplift, the largest rise in the sector since August 2006.

Retail sales volume in the three months to January rose 0.6 per cent against the previous three months. The figure is a slight improvement on the 0.5 per cent growth recorded in the three months to December.