By Daniel Hunter
The UK's High Street is currently enduring its worst summer for six years, according to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker.
The survey, which surveyed 85 mid-sized retailers with a collective 10,000 stores, found that sales dropped 1.1% in July compared with last year. That means sales have fallen in each of the summers months for the first time since 2009.
Fashion suffered the biggest drop, with sales falling 1.4% compared with last year. Lifestyle goods fell 0.5% and homeware products dropped 1.1%.
According to the BDO's report, consumers have been dissuaded from making purchases due to growing debate and speculation over an increase to interest rates, which would put a squeeze on household finances.
Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: "The political landscape is still settling down after the election and speculation over interest rate rises is creating uncertainty in the minds of retailers and consumers."
Instead of spending their money on the High Street, BDO said they preferred to spending it in bars and restaurants.
Ms Michael added: "If this trend of falling sales continues into August, 2015 will go down as a very gloomy summer on the high street."