Forexpros - Retail sales in the U.K. fell more-than-expected in August, dropping at the fastest pace since May 2010, industry data showed on Thursday.
In a report, the Confederation of British Industry said the result of its index of U.K. retailers fell by nine points to minus 14.0 in August from a reading of minus 5.0 in July.
Analysts had expected the index to decline to minus 10.0 in August.
On the index, a reading above zero indicates higher sales volume, below indicates lower.
The report showed that retailers were the most negative they have been about the general business situation since February 2009.
Commenting on the report, Chair of the CBI Distributives Trade Panel Judith McKenna said, "Sales volumes fell at a pace not seen in over a year, as consumers have continued to see their real incomes squeezed by a combination of inflation and weak wage growth."
"With energy and commodity costs still high, families' spending power looks like being constrained for some time," she added.
Following the release of the data, the pound was fractionally higher against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD easing up 0.04% to trade at 1.6383.
Meanwhile, European stock markets were higher. The FTSE 100 added 0.1%, the EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.7%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.65%, while Germany's DAX gained 0.5%.