New figures from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) suggest retail sales growth has slowed since Aprils boost thanks to Easter.
A survey conducted by the confederation also revealed that major retailers’ concern over the outlook of the economy was increasing at the highest rate in five years
This month the CBI’s retail sales balance dropped to a four-month low of +2, divebombing from last month’s +38 and less than half of all major economists’ forecasts of +10.
Poor trading conditions have also slowed hiring and investment plans and selling prices increased at their fastest rate in six years during the year to the start of May.
“It’s clear that households are increasingly feeling the pinch, as rising inflation pushes down on real earnings,” CBI economist Alpesh Paleja said.
“Taken together with higher import cost pressures from a weaker pound, this is creating a challenging environment for retailers.”