The volume of retail sales in August fell 0.5% from July to August, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Between July and August, food stores volume fell 0.5%, and non-food stores fell 0.7%. In non-food, all sectors saw decreases.

The year-on-year figures saw volumes for August 0.4% higher than in the same month last year. Food stores’ year on year volume fell 3.5%, while non-food stores increased 4.6%. In non-food there were rises across all sectors apart from household goods, which fell 1.5%.

Sales volume in the three months from June to August increased by 1.4%, compared to the previous three months. Food stores showed no growth while non-food stores increased by 2.2%.

The seasonally adjusted value of retail sales for August 2010 was 1.9 per cent higher than in August 2009. For the three months to August 2010, it was 2.3 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier.

Barclays Corporate head of retail and wholesale Richard Lowe said: “The slow down started to show in August with subdued consumer confidence finally filtering through to the high street. The environment is likely to get tougher with next month’s comprehensive spending review weighing heavily on household purses. The one significant increase, which is encouraging, was from e-commerce with a significant rise in online sales.”