UK retail total sales growth slowed in September, rising by just 0.6% compared with growth of 5.6% in September 2020.
British Retail Consortium (BRC) figures revealed sluggish growth in the month which was down on the three-month average of 3.1% and the 12-month average of 9.8%.
Like for like sales fell by 0.6% on the previous year compared with growth of 6.1% in September 2020.
Three-month like for like sales growth averaged 1.7% with the 12-month average at 10.2%.
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the BRC, said: “September saw the slowest retail sales growth since January, when the UK was in lockdown. There are signs that consumer confidence is being hit as the fuel shortages, combined with wetter weather, had an impact in the second half of the month.
“An uncertain backdrop and slower growth means the fourth quarter is looks challenging as the economic recovery is dependent on strong retail sales during the festive season. Retailers, farmers and manufacturers are already making preparations to ensure enough food and festive gifts move through the supply chain in time for Christmas. Unfortunately, the lack of drivers is hindering these preparations and increasing costs, which will eventually be reflected in higher prices. Retailers are working hard to recruit and train thousands of new British drivers, but in the interim Government needs to urgently extend its visa scheme to address the shortfall of 90,000 drivers. Without swift action, customers face disruption and frustration this Christmas.”