The most recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that retail sales volumes dropped by 0.2% in April following a similar fall in March.
The ONS reported weakness in spending on household goods and food but said there had been strong demand for computer games such as version four of Grand Theft Auto 4 and the Wii Fit.
Clothes and shoes were not in demand in the unusually cold April weather, with the 1.5% year-on-year drop in sales last month the weakest since the autumn of 1998.
Spending in April was 4.2% higher than in the same month in 2007, although comparison must take into account the very early Easter this year. In the three months to April, considered a better guide to the underlying picture, sales were up 1.5% on the February to April period last year.
However retail analysts calculate that the increase in sales is being driven by deep discounting on the high street.
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Office of National Statisitics