Retail sales fell 4.3 percent August, making it the worst month for high street shops since the global financial crisis of 2008.

According to a survey published this morning by accountancy firm BDO, sales have fallen every month since May for the first time since 2009, countering signs that Britain’s economy is improving.

The figures were compiled from data released by 85 medium-sized retailers, including Gap, French Connection and Hobbs, with around 10,000 outlets, and shows that all retail sectors including lifestyle, fashion and homewares recorded lower sales than last year.

This data echoes Thursday’s survey by Markit, showing that businesses in Britain’s services sector recorded their slowest growth in more than two years last month.

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