Thirty-nine per cent saw sale volumes falling over the last 12 months, compared with 24 per cent who experienced an increase. That gives a balance of -15 per cent, down on -14 per cent last month and the lowest since the balance hit -18 in May 2010.
The survey’s three-month moving average showed the balance sliding to -11 per cent -- the fastest rate of decline in over two years. Expectations fell too, with the future sales balance down from -7 to -14.
“The findings add to a growing body of evidence which suggests that retailers will enter the all-important final quarter of the year fighting for business in the face of weak consumer confidence,” said Markit’s chief economist Chris Williamson.
“Household spending is being subdued by job worries, rising prices, higher utility bills and weak pay growth.”