Like-for-like value sales were 0.6% up on July 2010, figures from the BRC/KPMG Retail Sales Monitor show.
On a total basis, sales were up 2.5% over the year.
“When you take into consideration inflation and January’s increase in VAT, 2.5% growth effectively means people are buying fewer goods,” said BRC director general Stephen Robertson.
“Policymakers in Europe and the US must act quickly to implement a co-ordinated and credible strategy to reduce public sector deficits while supporting growth.
“Business and consumer confidence needs to be restored quickly before spending paralysis sets in.”