Consumer spending grew at its weakest pace in 15 months last month, according to the latest data from Visa and Markit.
Expenditure fell by 1.4% month-on-month, versus a 1.1% rise in consumer spending in July, and a 0.5% drop in June.
On an annual basis, consumer spending grew at its weakest pace in nearly three years, rising a meagre 0.1%. High street retailers suffered the biggest drop in spending, down 2.8% compared to the same period last year.
However, spending in hotels, bars and restaurants saw a 4.3% increase.
Expenditure online continued to be the strongest, but face-to-face sales near stagnated. Expenditure in household goods rose 0.5%, but health and education spending dropped 1.4%.
Consumers spent 0.1% more on food, beverages and tobacco.
A 2% rise in recreation and culture spend was chalked up to the growing popularity of “staycations”. Visa suggested this was in line with reports claiming that UK households opted to spend holidays in Britain rather than travelling overseas.
The amount spent on transport and communication subsequently dropped 4.6% over the 12 months to August.
Annabel Fiddes, an economist at IHS Markit said: “We will need more time and more data to see if anxiety around the Brexit vote and uncertainty over the UK’s economic future leads to a continuation of muted expenditure growth, or an outright decline in spending.”