Retail sales suffered an unexpectedly sharp fall of 0.8% in September, reversing a jump in August, according to the Office for National Statistics.
It meant that third-quarter retail growth slowed to a year-on-year rate of 1.5%, its lowest since the second quarter of 2013.
The figures come at the Bank of England contemplates its first interest rate rise in a decade.
A fall in the value of sterling has pushed up the price of imported goods.
Kate Davies, ONS statistician, said: “There is a continuation of the underlying trend of steady growth in sales volumes following a weak start to the year, and a background of generally rising prices.”