In December 2008, retail turnover was more than 2 percent up on the same month one year previously. Prices of articles sold in December were 2.5 percent higher, hence the volume of retail sales was smaller than in December 2007. Differences in the shopping day and holiday pattern between December 2008 and December 2007 had a slightly positive effect on retail turnover.
Turnover in the food sector was more than 5 percent higher in December. The price increase was almost the same as the increase compared with December 2007. Supermarkets generated 7 percent more turnover, while specialised food, drink and tobacco shops faced a turnover loss of nearly 3 percent.
In the non-food sector, turnover declined in almost every segment. Clothing shops, home furnishers and consumer electronics shops suffered most. Opticians doubled their turnover, due to the introduction of new tax legislation. As a result, turnover in the non-food sector equalled the level of December 2007.