YEAR-on-year growth in UK retail sales volumes slowed unexpectedly to a near-standstill this month, a survey has revealed, writes Ian McConnell.

The survey, published yesterday by the Confederation of British Industry, shows a significant year-on-year fall in clothing sales.

It also shows a further sharp slowdown in year-on-year growth in sales in the grocery sector, underlining the continuing pressures on supermarkets after a long period in which consumers have suffered falling real incomes.

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Subtracting the proportion of retailers experiencing a year-on-year fall in sales volumes from that achieving a rise, a net four per cent reported an increase. This was down sharply from respective balances of 30 per cent and 16 per cent reporting a year-on-year rise in sales volumes in April and May.