Retail sales in the UK during August were flat, according to the CBI’s latest Distributive Trades Survey, but business sentiment deteriorated sharply.

According to the survey, 27% of retailers reported an increase in sales volumes during August, and 31% a fall, compared to last year – broadly in line with their expectations.

Twelve of the 13 retail sub-sectors recorded a slowing in growth compared to last year, with only footwear and leather bucking the trend, the CBI added.

However, retailers said they expected sales to rise slightly during September compared to last year, and to be slightly ahead of seasonal norms.

But many expect the business situation to worsen over the next three months, with sentiment weakening more than at any time since February 2009.

“Although this summer’s events created a mood of celebration across the nation, these figures would suggest this positivity did not extend to the high street,” said Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and COO of supermarket Asda.