UK retail sales in September remained slack, growing only 0.5% on last year on a like-for-like basis as clothing sales slowed but footwear grew.

According to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), total monthly retail sales in September were up by 2.2%, mainly driven by increases in food sales.

However, the BRC said clothing sales had slowed, although footwear improved on the back of cold and wet weather, plus the launch of new autumn/winter ranges.

“Sales growth continues to be poor,” said Stephen Robertson, BRC director general. “We’ve now had six straight months of low growth thanks to persistently weak consumer confidence and worries about the future.”

He added: “Overall, non-food sales were down on a year ago for the first time since mid-2009. With VAT higher than it was last year and pushing up sales values, it’s an even worse performance than it looks.”