US retail and food services sales totaled $415.7bn for the month of December 2012, said the data published by the Department of Commerce.

The figures show a 4.7% increase year-on-year, seasonally adjusted, when compared to December 2011.

Sales were up 0.5% compared to the previous month of November, well above the 0.2% as estimated earlier.

The report reveals that 11.6% hike in yearly e-commerce sales boosted numbers of the overall retail sector with significant contributions from motor vehicles and part dealers, up 7.9% and home improvement stores with their respective sales, up 7.7%.

Increased spending in leading up to and during the 2012 holiday season also helped the figures as the three month period between October and December 2012 posted a 4.2% increase.

Miscellaneous store retailers, restaurants and bars and specialist retailers were among the growing sectors in the market as their year-on-year revenues increased upwards of 6% each.

Department store sales, however, witnessed a drop of 1.0% for the full year of 2012, as against comparative sales for the previous year alongside electronics and appliance sales that were down 0.8%.