Retail sales in UK rose 3% for the month of January 2013, according to the data released by the British Retail Consortium.

The increase is the highest in total sales growth for a month since September 2012.

Like-for-like sales, meanwhile, rose 2.1% for the month, exhibiting the strongest growth in the last 13 months.

Sales were boosted by a positive trend for footwear while some of those gains were offset by the weakening clothing sales.

Online sales for the month continued their impressive run, surging 10.1% on figures from January 2012.

Commenting on the positive figures British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson hoped that many retailers would be happy with the increase.

"Despite retailers had tough trading period during Christmas, consumers were tempted out by offers and promotions in early January.

"Sales suffered during the recent cold snap, but it was thankfully short-lived and didn’t cancel out the positive showing across the month as a whole," said Dickinson.

Dickinson also opined that consumer confidence was on its way back up, and hoped that it would continue over the rest of the year.

"Its force was felt in some areas more than others – Footwear performed well thanks to a ‘boots boost’ but it wasn’t such a good month for clothing. Online sales growth returned to closer to the longer-run average after a bumper December," Dickinson said.

KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale expects a difficult year for retailers but acknowledged the strong start to January.

"Sales are only one side of the equation and time will soon reveal the true cost of the promotions and margin squeezes used to drive these sales. However, it is encouraging to see such positive results in what is traditionally a challenging month," cautioned McCorquodale.