The British Retail Consortium has again called on the Bank of England to cut interest rates this week to avoid a “consumer-led recession”.

Unveiling its monthly retail figures, BRC director general Kevin Hawkins said that there had been little or no improvement in any sub-sector of the retail industry from last month.

Data showed that like-for-like sales fell by 2.4% last month compared with the same period last year. For the three months to May, like-for-like sales declined 1.5%.

Hawkins said: “These figures remove any lingering doubt that we are now in a consumer-led recession. We urge the monetary policy committee to reduce interest rates at this week’s meeting.”

Last month the BRC urged the Bank of England to lower interest rates in order to boost consumer spending.