A rise in retail sales indicates a "tentative recovery in consumer confidence", the Finance Secretary has said.
John Swinney spoke out as the latest sales figures show an increase in both the amount of goods bought and the overall amount spent.
Retail sales increased by 0.9% in volume during the third quarter of the year, while the value of retail sales rose 1%. Figures out in August show a fall in both areas. Sales volume is now 1.1% more than this time last year, while sales value is up 2.1% over the year.
The increases are lower than the rises seen in the UK as a whole over the last 12 months, where sales volume is up 1.5% and sales value is up 3.3%.
But Mr Swinney pointed out that Scotland had a greater quarterly increase in sales volume.
"These official figures show that there have been increases in both the amount of goods bought and the amount spent in the retail sector in Scotland in the period covering July to September this year," the Finance Secretary said.
"The 0.9% increase in sales comes on the back of a fall of 0.3% in the previous quarter and points to a tentative recovery in consumer confidence and purchasing during this period. The increase in the volume of retail sales in Scotland of 0.9% in Q3 2012 was greater than the 0.7% growth witnessed in GB over the same period."
Scottish ministers are "doing all we can to improve confidence further".
Mr Swinney said: "Our council tax freeze has resulted in average savings of £479 for households across the country since 2008 and our policy of no compulsory redundancies has given confidence to the thousands of people who work in the public sector.
"This is coupled with action to support the retail sector directly. We have maintained Scotland's position as the most supportive business environment in the UK through actions such as the Small Business Bonus Scheme and other reliefs which provide zero or reduced business rates for 63% of retail premises in Scotland."