UK retail sales rose 1.8% in November 2012 when compared to figures in corresponding month of 2011, said the data released by British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Like-for-like sales increased 0.4% with non-food increasing and food sales weakening marginally.

Same-store sales were up 0.4% while online sales jumped 7.5% year-on-year but remained flat when compared to October 2012.

Clothing and sales in children’s footwear during the first week of the month posted a double digit growth but weakened as the month drew to a close.

BRC Director General Stephen Robertson remarked that thrifty shoppers are taking care not to spend too much too soon.

"However, sales in must-have toy and technology items improved marginally.

"November was off to a flying start helped by end-of-month paydays, mid-season sales and the impact of half term, which had been in the previous month last year," Robertson added.

KPMG Retail head David McCorquodale said the like-for-like indicators in food and non-food categories are positive but only just, against a weak set of comparatives last year.

"It appears that consumers know they have to spend before Christmas but are holding off for as long as they can to see if there might be bargains available in the next few weeks.

"Retailers meanwhile are trying to hold firm to maintain their margins but, if volumes don’t pick up significantly in the next two weeks, some will bow to the pressure to clear stocks before the year end and cut their prices," Robertson added.