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ONS releases positive online sales stats as UK enters recession

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Non-seasonally adjusted sales volume increased by 1.8% in December compared with the same period a year earlier, says the Office for National Statistics, and non-seasonally adjusted value fell by 0.8%.

For non-food stores, the non-seasonally adjusted volume of retail sales in December  compared with the same period a year ago rose by 2.4% but value fell by 3.6%.

In the non-store retailing and repair sector, non-seasonally adjusted sales volume rose by 18.7% and value rose by 8.7%. per cent.

The average weekly value of Internet retail sales during December was approximately £238 million, according to the ONS' new experimental data, indicating that internet sales now represent 3.5% of total retail sales, compared with 2.8% in June 2008.

"The figures represent an estimate of the specific contribution of internet sales to overall retail sales in Great Britain," the ONS explains. "ONS includes internet data in its retail sales figures but has now started extracting the numbers for internet-only stores as well as high street and other stores with an internet element to their business. The estimate includes sales of goods to consumers for personal and household use. It does not include services bought over the internet."

Full details of the ONS' findings are available on its website (pdf).
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