UK retail sales posted their biggest quarterly fall in seven years in March, as the prices of everyday goods continued to climb.
Sales were down 1.4% year-on-year on a quarterly basis, and down 1.8% compared with February 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It said demand had fallen for all types of goods except for textiles, clothing and footwear.
The biggest falls were seen in sales of household goods and petrol.
Kate Davies, senior statistician at the ONS, said: “Today’s retail sales figures show a decline on the month and on the three months to March.
“This is the first time we’ve seen a quarterly decline since 2013, and it seems to be a consequence of price increases across a whole range of sectors.”
The ONS said average store prices had increased by 3.3% on the year, the highest growth since March 2012.
The largest contribution came from petrol stations, where prices were up by some 16.4% on the year.