UK retail like-for-like sales rose by just 0.5% in July, compared with the same month last year that witnessed a 1.7% increase, according to the latest figures. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed that total sales in the month were up by 2.6%, against a 3.6% increase in 2009. It blamed non-food non-store sales - internet, mail-order and phone sales – for the slowdown in July. Stephen Robertson, director general, of BRC, said: "These are poor results for non-food retailing, with some sectors actually seeing sales falls. The vitality has even faded from online sales growth. By contrast food sales continue to be resilient. “The benefit from sunny weather receded as it turned cooler and wetter in parts of the country, while the World Cup boost ended. But the overriding factor is consumer confidence – it's fallen recently, though people are still more confident than this time last year. “Talk of public spending cuts is unsettling customers and they are concentrating on essentials. "It's clear the recovery continues to need support. The Bank of England must resist pressure to increase interest rates too soon.”