British retail sales fell slightly in January from the previous month despite heavy buying of petrol amid declining oil prices, official data showed on Friday.
Sales eased by 0.3 percent last month, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement. They jumped by 5.4 percent in January compared with 12 months earlier, the ONS added.
"Compared with December 2014, the quantity bought in the retail industry was estimated to have decreased by 0.3 percent," the ONS said.
"There was a significant increase in the quantity bought in petrol stations and department stores but this did not negate the downwards pressure from predominantly food stores, textile, clothing and footwear and other stores."
The state of Britain's economy is in sharp focus ahead of the country's general election in May.