Retail sales in London outperformed the rest of the country in September but were still the worst since summer 2005.

Like-for-like sales in the capital were 0.04 per cent lower in September than a year ago, according to the BRC- KPMG London Retail Sales Monitor. The rest of the UK experienced a 1.5 per cent sales decline in the period.

The BRC said that footfall was weaker during the month than in the past few months but higher year on year.

Fewer Middle Eastern tourists visited the capital than in last September because of the early timing of Ramadan this year.

Food sales were strong during the month, although food inflation affected the performance. Clothing and footwear were “difficult”, according to the BRC, and big-ticket items remained “very tough”.

BRC director-general Stephen Robertson said it was the first negative figure to be recorded since October 2005 and warned there may be “worse to come”.

He said: “Customers in London were more resilient than elsewhere in the UK but turmoil in the City and the fastest rising unemployment in the UK have shaken confidence more than elsewhere.”