Sales leap after festive price-slashing

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Desperate price-slashing helped retail sales rise 0.6 per cent in December, as an extra weekend shopping day on Christmas Eve and milder weather helped the high street.

Retail prices rose by just 2.4 per cent year on year in December, the slowest annual rate in 18 months, as department stores and household goods retailers were forced into discounts, the Office for National Statistics said.

The sales increase came after a 0.5 per cent drop in November. On the year, sales were 2.6 per cent up, the biggest rise since the start of 2011.