Retail sales in Scotland rose 2.1% for the month of January 2013 when compared to the corresponding month in 2012.

Data released by British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that like-for-like sales rose 1.1% in January 2013, as against a decline of 2.6% in the corresponding month a year ago.

Adjusted for 0.6% shop price inflation, total sales for the month increased 1.5% in real terms.

Scottish Retail Consortium director Fiona Moriarty said the results on the back of the consistently difficult conditions seen in 2012, were good news for the country’s retailers.

"The healthier pace of sales that finally developed in December, gathered momentum in January to produce the strongest year-on-year growth since April 2011. The comparison with January 2012, when sales growth was negative, also helped the overall figures," explained Moriarty.

Total food sales for January were up 5.2% as against the same month of 2012 with non-food sales decreasing 0.7% year-on-year.

"Clothing and footwear was the strongest non-food category thanks to winter weather getting people buying boots and stimulating bargain hunting for seasonal clothing, said Moriarty.

BRC noted that food and drink sales were up 5.2%, with comfort food selling strongly around the New Year, while detox diets provided a boost for fruit and veg sales.

The trade body however remained cautious on the forecast for 2013, and said that despite the encouraging start it could be a challenging year ahead.

"The key question now is: is this just a blip or dare we hope it signals the start of a lasting revival for customers and retailers," noted Moriarty.

KPMG Retail head David McCorquodale added, "It is still far too early to read too much into the figures, but this is a welcome and positive start of 2013."