UK retailers saw sales rise 1.5 per cent during February on a like-for-like basis with the year before, and 3.3 per cent compared to the same time in 2006, according to the latest figures from the BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor.
The low levels of growth are being caused falling consumer confidence, according to the report, which states has fallen to an all time low. It says that customers are extremely price conscious and are reluctant to splash out on major purchases.
"After a blip at the start of the year as clearance sales temporarily got consumers spending, belt tightening began in earnest in Feburary when the Christmas and New Year's credit card bills came home to roost," said Stephen Robertson, director general of the British Retail Consortium.
"Both retailers and consumers are being squeezed by sharp increases in utility bills."