Gloomy summer weather hit sales and left retailers in the doldrums, official figures showed yesterday.

Total sales were flat during a damp August, while revised data showed sales volumes barely grew in the wettest July on record.

The disappointing figures come amid continued caution on the part of high street retailers. John Lewis said yesterday it expected conditions to remain difficult for the rest of the year and 2010, echoing a forecast by Next this week.

Financial Times, The Times