In May 2013 total Scottish sales increased by 0.8% compared with May 2012, when they had increased by 0.1%.
The figures come from the SRC/KPMG Scottish Retail Sales Monitor published yesterday (June 12th).
Like-for-like sales decreased by 0.5% on last May, when they had decreased by 1.2%. Taking account of shop price deflation at 0.1%, May total sales were up 0.9% in real terms.
Total food sales were 1.5% up on May 2012, when they had increased 3.8%. Total non-food sales increased by 0.2% on a year earlier when they had decreased by 3.4%. The improvement was driven by Other Non-Food rather than fashion sales.
May total growth was above the 12-month average growth of 0.3%, but below that of the UK, at 3.4%.
Fiona Moriarty, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: "This is a fairly solid showing which chimes with rising levels of consumer confidence in Scotland. Customers remain price-conscious, but the signs are that they entered May a little more willing to spend, especially on value ranges. Retailers read the shifting public mood well and offered well-timed and targeted promotions to draw in shoppers on the look-out for a good deal. This was one of the key factors behind non-food excluding fashion posting its strongest result in 20 months excluding Christmas.
"While May ushered in some welcome weather more suited to spring after the unseasonably chilly preceding months, conditions were still volatile. This led to a mixed month for the fashion category: the first signs of sunshine fuelled demand for spring and summer ranges, but changes in temperature made for stop-start progress across the month.
"These are slow but steady figures which will prompt mixed feelings from Scottish retailers. While the gap has widened again with the UK, the result is up on the 12 month average of 0.3 per cent. Retailers will be hoping that this tentative boost gathers momentum as we head into the summer."