Retail sales in June fell 0.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis, highlighting the plight of the high street.
The three-month trend rate of growth fell in June to -2.4 per cent from -1.5 per cent in May for like-for-like sales, and to 1.1 per cent from 2.1 per cent for total sales.
June was better than May and April?s tough trading, but largely because of the combination of good weather and clearance sales, the British Retail Consortium said.
Consumer caution and uncertainties over the housing market, interest rates and tax increases continued to depress housing-related products.
Sales rose by 3.5 per cent on a total basis, compared with a year ago.
Kevin Hawkins, director general of BRC, said: ?While the fine weather in late June was welcomed and did help some stores, the underlying three-month trend has deteriorated further. Retailers cannot rely on good weather to bring in customers.
"There is an urgent need for an early cut in interest rates to prevent a continued decline, especially as it will take several months to have any effect.?