Data from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that retail sales in the country dropped by 0.3% last month.

The decline in sales comes after the UK’s sales volume grew by 1.9% in January.

During the month, non-store retailing sales volumes fell by 4.8% compared with a growth of 4.0% in the previous month.

Food store sales volumes declined by 0.2%, but non-food store sales volumes rose by 0.6% driven by a 13.2% growth in clothing and 1.3% increase in department stores.

In addition, automotive fuel sales volumes increased by 3.6% during the month.

Online retail sales dropped by 27.8%, last month which is the lowest proportion since March 2020, when a 22.7% decline was recorded. 

British Retail Consortium (BRC) chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Sales growth fell slightly in February as rising concerns about inflation appeared to dampen consumer appetites.

“Stronger sales results could be seen for clothing and footwear, while food spending remained down on last year for the second consecutive month.

“Online sales fell as compared to last year, when the country was in its third lockdown, as more people returned to the shops.

“Nonetheless, as competition for limited consumer spending increases, retailers must continue to invest in their physical and digital offerings.

“Consumers face a rocky road ahead, with rises in the energy price cap and national insurance contributions both coming next week.

“Meanwhile, confidence has been knocked by the continued rise in inflation, as well as the uncertainty created by the situation in Ukraine.”

Earlier this month, the BRC reported that UK retail sales grew by 6.7% on a total basis last month compared with a 1.0% increase in February last year.

This was above the three-month average growth of 6.5% but below the 11.3% average increase usually reported on a 12-month basis.