UK clothing and footwear sales fell during May, according to the results of the latest survey released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The CBI said that retail sales fell at a faster pace than expected in the year to May, making this the first annual decline since April 2012. A balance of 21% of clothing retailers and 11% of footwear and leather retailers recorded sales declines in May.

Overall, a balance of 11% of retailers surveyed recorded declines during May, but the CBI is optimistic that sales volumes will rise in the year to June. The survey found that retailers expect sales to rise modestly next month and the business situation to improve over the next quarter.

"Retail sales growth has weakened since the start of the year as households continue to feel the pinch, with wages failing to keep pace with the cost of living," said Asda chief merchandising officer for food and chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey Panel.

"There is positivity from retailers this month, however, with sales expected to rise in the coming months."