British retail sales volumes slid in January at the fastest pace for three years, according to an industry survey on Thursday which echoed weak official data published last week.
The Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) monthly retail sales balance, a gauge of sales versus a year ago, fell in January to -50 from -32 in December, the lowest reading since January 2021 when Britain was in a COVID-19 lockdown.
The survey pointed to an equally dismal February.
"Looking ahead, demand conditions in the sector will remain challenging as higher interest rates continue to feed through to mortgage payments and household incomes," said Martin Sartorius, CBI principal economist.
Official data published last week showed British retailers suffered the biggest drop in sales for almost three years during December, raising the risk that the economy slipped into recession late last year.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by William Schomberg)