Retail: "Bargains out there for savvy shoppers"
High street sales have picked up slightly driven by sales of computers and school uniforms ready for the new academic year.
But the British Retail Consortium has warned that a growing anxiety about job cuts and tax rises is putting people off making big purchases.
The government will reveal details of its comprehensive spending review next month. It has already announced that VAT will rise to 20% in January next year.
The BBC's Simon Jack spoke to Stephen Robertson from the British Retail Consortium.