British retailers reported a slide in sales this month and expect a further fall in October, a survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed on Friday.
The CBI's monthly distributive trades survey showed the retail balance - the difference between the percentage of retailers reporting rises and falls in sales volumes compared with a year ago - fell to -20% in September from +37% in August.
This was the index's lowest reading since April, and well below forecasts in a Reuters poll for a drop to +10%.
For October, retailers expect a reading of -13%.
"Following a brief return to growth last month, retail sales volumes have once again fallen in the year to September, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to weigh on households' spending," CBI economist Martin Sartorius said.
(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Kate Holton)