Retail sales were almost flat in January compared with the same month last year on the back of still-sluggish car sales.
Retailers saw their takings increase marginally by 0.1 per cent in January. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales would have increased by 9.2 per cent over January 2013.
Sales of motor vehicles plunged 33.2 per cent, while retailers of telecommunications apparatus and computers, and furniture and household equipment, saw their takings drop 5.5 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.
The food and beverage services sector fared better - takings rose 5.4 per cent in January over the same month last year.
All categories recorded growth in sales, with the increase ranging from 2.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent.