High street spending across the UK suffered its biggest monthly drop since 1986 and the weakest annual rate since early 2006, latest figures show. The Office of National Statistics retail figures revealed yesterday the sales of goods fell 3.9% in June, compared to a 3.6% rise in May. The research found that retail sales volume rose 0.6% in the three months to June compared with the first quarter of the year, but slowed from the 1.6% increase in May. Sales of food were shown to have been badly impacted, with the amount sold falling 3.6%, as consumers were faced with higher prices for their weekly shopping and lunchtime snacks. The stark data was released at the same time as leading think-tank issued a warning that consumer spending over the whole of next year was set to fall, making it the first full annual drop since the recession of 1991. The National Institute for Economic and Social Research forecast that overall consumer spending would fall by 0.8% during 2009, following average rises of more than 3% every year since 1997. It said that it expected growth to slow to 1.5% this year and 1.4% in 2009, warning that higher oil prices would cut the UK’s trend growth rate.