The organisation found that in the three months to December, the seasonally adjusted index for retail sales was 0.3 per cent higher than in the previous three months.The office said that this is the lowest three monthly growth since 2003. It is also the lowest fourth quarter growth for the last six years.
Food sales grew 0.6 per cent, but non-food sale were flat. Stores specialising in household goods fared worst, with 2 per cent growth in the value of sales compared with 5 per cent for food, drink and tobacco.
The figures showed that prices across all categories were deflated by 1.3 per cent in December, compared with the same period last year. Prices have fallen by at least 1 percentage point year on year over the past twelve months.