The pound dropped this morning on the news UK retail sales fell by 0.5% in August, surprising economists who had expected a 0.3% rise.
This decline is the first time retail sales have fallen since January.
However, on a quarterly basis sales were up in terms of both volume, up 0.7%, and value, up 2.3%.
The seasonally adjusted value of retail sales was up 1.9% between August 2009 and 2010, while volumes rose 0.4% year on year.
Sterling plummeted following the data's release, as economists warned the negative picture of consumer spending could fuel fears of a double dip.
The pound fell nearly half a cent against the dollar in trading this morning.
World First economist Jeremy Cook says the data is a blow to recovery hopes.
"Yet again another economic indicator is showing us that the green shoots we hoped summer would nourish are being trampled," he says.
"The poor retail sales figure is not a surprise, however, after numerous high street bosses have warned of pain and further demand falls as we move into ‘cutting season'.
"This likely points to the beginning of a marked deterioration in consumer and business confidence measures in the lead-up to Christmas."
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