Clothing retailers saw some of the biggest sales declines in November, according to new figures, with overall UK retail sales flat for the second consecutive month.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) had been expecting its latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey to show robust growth in November.

Barry Williams, chief merchandising officer for food at Asda, and chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey Panel, said: "This is the second month in a row that retailers' expectations for growth have been disappointed, perhaps due in part to the mild start to autumn.

"But despite challenging conditions on the high-street, retailers remain optimistic for the Christmas period, and have taken on more employees in anticipation of a shopping rush that should add jingle to the tills."

A balance of 1% of all retail respondents saw sales rise year-on-year in November, while 24% expect sales growth to return next month. 

Meanwhile, a balance of 15% of footwear and leather retailers reported year-on-year sales declines, and a balance of 28% of department stores saw sales fall. 

Although the volume of orders placed with suppliers was flat this month, clothing, textiles and footwear wholesalers saw broadly flat sales at -3%.