Sales fell for the majority of high street retailers during the first half of September and the outlook for October is bleak.
48% of retailers said that the volume of sales in the first half of September was down on last year according to the CBI's latest Distributive Trades Survey.
The number marks the third consecutive fall in monthly sales, however it is better than the 42% fall in sales volumes that retailers had feared and is an improvement on the record low in August when sales dropped by 46%.
CBI deputy director general John Cridland said: "Sadly there has been no Indian summer after the sales wash out of August and the retail outlook for early autumn remains bleak."
Andy Clarke the retail director of Asda added: "Shoppers are increasingly focusing on price as the economy continues to slow and household budgets get tighter. There has been a migration to the value end of the market."