Most retailers expect sales to fall in 2011, with weak consumer confidence and inflationary pressures hitting the sector’s performance, according to a BRC survey.

Nearly two thirds of those participating in the BRC’s Retail Prospects for 2011 survey said they expect sales to fall in 2011 compared to 2010. Only 18% expected sales to grow.

Despite the tough prognosis for next year, BRC director general Stephen Robertson said he thought December will turn out to have been better than some feared despite the impact of the severe weather. He said that many shoppers had simply moved their purchases to different days adding that “the overall impact will turn out to be less severe than some fear.”

47% of the retailers surveyed expect to create jobs in 2011, compared to 24% who think they’ll employ less people. Asked what action they would like to see from government to help business in 2011, the top three answers were reducing existing regulations, avoiding new regulations and talking about growth instead of cuts.