Data out today show July sales were up 0.8 per cent, while they rose 3.9 per cent on a year ago.
Figures from the Office from National Statistics (ONS) show sales at food stores rose by just 0.1 per cent, but in non-food stores they were up 1.2 per cent over the three months to July, as retailers managed to keep shoppers despite price rises.
July retail sales rose 0.7 per cent over the previous three months.
The main message from the ONS is the "underlying growth in retail sales volumes remain positive".
The largely stable July figures compare to a 3.6 per cent surge in May and a drop of 3.9 per cent in June.
Stephen Robertson, BRC director general, said: At this difficult time for retailers and family budgets its vital that the government acts to restore economic stability.
Retailers are being hit by a double-whammy of a deepening economic slowdown and a range of higher property costs.
"The government should alleviate the increase in retail property costs by bringing back empty property rate relief and allowing retailers tax relief on the large exit fees they pay when surrendering leases early.