Although UK retail sales growth fell to their lowest level in two years last month, sales of food and drink remained steady and in line with expectations helped by beer, wine and spirits promotions.

Like-for-like sales rose 2% in November compared with the same period in 2001 while total sales rose 4.9%, according to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium.

BRC director general Bill Moyes said the slower pace had been expected due to regular interest rate cuts which generated strong retail sales growth in November 2001.

Like-for-like sales during the three months to November fell to 3.4% from 4% in the three months to October partly reflecting November’s wet weather, which kept many shoppers at home.