Retail sales in the UK will grow by between 2.3% and 3.5% this year, according to analysis by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The study suggests that sales in the country will grow by 1% to 2.3% in the first half of the year.

This growth is expected to reach 3.6-4.7% in the second half as inflation slows and consumer confidence improves.

The BRC’s analysis also projects food sales growth to drop slightly in the second half of the year, while non-food sales are expected to decline in the first half and grow in the second.

In addition, food sales are expected to surpass sales in non-food categories.

BRC insight director Kris Hamer said: “The first half of the year is likely to challenging for households and retailers.

“Ongoing inflation will make sales appear to be rising, but we expect falling volumes as consumers continue to manage their spending.

“We also don’t see many signs at this stage of retailers’ input costs easing, with energy costs expected to rise by £7.5bn ($9bn) as the government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme comes to an end in March, putting ongoing upwards pressure on prices.

“There is cause for optimism in the second half of 2023, when we expect inflation to ease and improving consumer confidence to result in an improvement to sales growth, and corresponding volumes.

“Despite facing huge cost pressures, retailers will continue to do all they can to keep prices affordable for their customers.

“The market remains very competitive, and every retailer will be striving to attract and retain customers as people continue to be discerning in their purchasing decisions.”

Last month, data from the BRC showed that UK retail sales grew by 4.2% on a total basis in November, having increased by 5.0% a year earlier.