Retail sales in the UK were up by 1.8% in December 2013, as against 1.5% in December 2012, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG retail sales monitor.

The 1.8% growth was the lowest in 2013, claims the monitor.

In 2013, the sales growth was driven by health & beauty and clothing sector, while other non-food sector was the strongest contributor to sales growth in December.

The UK online sales of non-food products have increased by 19.2% in December, as against a year earlier.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said the result is in line with their prediction that while confidence levels were higher than the previous year, this was not always matched by more money in pockets.

"The last-minute rush also arrived as expected, giving a major boost to sales in the final few days before Christmas after a fairly flat showing mid-month."

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"Retailers will be hoping that a good response to new ranges coupled with a continuing boost from post-Christmas sales events gets 2014 off to a promising start," Dickinson added.

KPMG retail head David McCorquodale said after competitive campaigns run by the major retailers, those which provided a seamless service between channels will feel pleased, whilst those who discounted heavily to force sales will count the cost in margin.

"Overall, the month was slightly positive, particularly in fashion and health and beauty, with traditional gifts playing their part."

"The new year will lead retailers to invest more in multichannel capabilities and many will use the quieter first quarter to do just that, or face the prospect of losing out further. For consumers, paying for Christmas will be the first priority of 2014; until wage growth outpaces inflation many households will remain confined to a tight budget for the foreseeable future," McCorquodale added.