A fall in retail sales between May and June hit a new low, the 3.9% slump being the largest since Office for National Statistics records began in 1986.
Sales in non-food stores dropped by 4.5% and in food stores by 3.6%. Both were the largest falls recorded.
However, sales volume in the three months April to June rose by
0.6% compared with the previous three months, following 1.6% growth in the three months to May.
In non-food stores sales were up 1.1% over the three months.
Over the same three months total sales were 4.4% higher than in the same period a year ago, with non-food stores showing a 4.9% increase.