SUPERMARKET chain Asda said yesterday shoppers were being hit in the pocket by government cuts as like-for-like sales excluding fuel fell 0.4 per cent in the second quarter.
The chain said its market share had reduced in the 12 weeks to 11 July as total sales crept up "in the low single digits".
Chief executive Andy Clarke said: “These are increasingly uncertain times for millions of families across the UK.”
The slip in sales follows a 0.3 per cent decline in the first three months of the year, which was the first fall since early 2006.
The company added: “Customers are facing challenges from recently announced tax increases and cuts in Government spending.”
Meanwhile Asda’s US owner Walmart announced a better-than-expected 3.6 per cent rise in profit, but with revenue which was below estimates.