The British Retail Consortium said;
"The survey dilutes hopes that the holding of the Olympic Games has had a significant overall boost to the UK economy in the third quarter (although there will be a positive impact from the ticket sales) and it also underlines the fact that consumers are still facing very difficult times.
"On the positive side, the labour market is currently remarkably resilient with employment rising while consumer price inflation has halved from the September 2011 peak of 5.2%, but that is the main good news at the moment."
More top news
Straight-A student Andrew Jones was barred from giving a speech at his graduation because of his school's policy forbidding facial hair.
Taxpayers forced to hang onto the phone while calling HMRC lost the equivalent of £97 million last year, a watchdog has found.
Union members will hold rallies across the UK as part of the strike action over a rejected 1.1% pay offer.