Despite fuel prices being substantially below the level of a year ago, volume sales at stores selling automotive fuel took a surprise fall in March, according to the latest Retail Sales report from the Government’s statistics body.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that sales in fuel stores during March 2015 were 2.8% down in volume compared with the same month a year ago, and helped to drag down overall sales volumes by 0.5% compared with the previous month.

With prices down 12.8% over the same period this lead to a fall in value sales of 15%, over the same period.

The report also broke down spending patterns reporting that in March 2015, for every pound spent in the retail industry:

• 42 pence was spent in food stores;

• 41 pence in non-food stores;

• 6 pence in non-store retailing; and

• 11 pence in stores selling automotive fuel.