Christmas shopping by British consumers started sluggishly, with retail sales rising only marginally in November according to the Office for National Statistics.

Last month’s sales increased 0.1% compared with the previous month, up 4% year-on-year. Moreover, the increase was largely fuelled by food purchases. Clothing and footwear sales grew only 3.9% compared with November 2001, the slowest rate for three years.

Although these figures were lower than expected, analysts emphasised that consumer spending remains relatively strong.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff