THE high street stayed sluggish last month, contrasting with more upbeat recent data from other parts of the economy, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed yesterday.
Supermarket price wars and the falling cost of petrol last month helped push inflation down further from its peak, official figures revealed today.
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Signs of belt-tightening among UK consumers intensified yesterday as Tesco posted one of its biggest-ever quarterly falls in sales, while rival Sainsbury’s reported pedestrian growth.
Mothercare sent a further shockwave through the retail sector yesterday by revealing its UK sales were “well below” expectations. The retailer, which saw its shares tumble, said UK like-for-like sales fell 9.6 per cent in the 12 weeks to 1 October and warned that the outlook for the all-important winter trading period had “materially worsened”. Its overseas operations have proved more successful.
PRESSURE on household budgets remained unchanged last month as the rise in the cost of living held steady at 2.7 per cent, figures today show.
It is a sobering thought that so many people feel their personal finances are in such a perilous state. There are clearly many people who are in serious hardship.
HOUSEHOLDERS are facing a "perfect storm" of financial instability - stretching their resources to a crisis point when they will not be able to make ends meet.
THE cost of the cheapest pay-monthly mobile phone plans has almost doubled in recent weeks, as a result of new European legislation that bans companies from tying customers into three-year contracts.
Watchdog Ofcom has called for evidence from telecoms customers after it emerged millions of people had received higher than expected bills for their mobile, landline or broadband service.
SHOPPERS are cutting back on their grocery spending as pay freezes and fears over interest rate rises force households to keep their wallets shut, figures yesterday revealed.
CONFIRMATION that Scotland's recovery from recession has "faltered" will come just days before the Holyrood elections in May, it has emerged.
CONSUMER spending could remain low this year with Scots holding off spending billions of pounds in the high street because of slumping confidence in the economy, slowing the country's "faltering" recovery, a leading economic think tank has warned.
Consumers' confidence in spending fell at its fastest rate on record during January, following the VAT rise, research indicated.
The latest increase in inflation is further bad news for savers, who were already struggling to find returns that stopped the value of their deposits falling in real terms.
The Bank of England is under renewed pressure to raise interest rates after latest figures showed inflation has risen to 4 per cent, double the government's target.
A QUARTER of customers who have applied for a credit card or loan during the past year have been turned down.
THE impending VAT increase will encourage record demand for big ticket items such as televisions, computers and white goods in this year's January sales, experts have claimed.
SCOTLAND'S bumper post- Christmas sales rush continued for a second day with retailers predicting trade up at least 25 per cent on last year.
SCOTLAND is on track for bumper Boxing Day sales figures, with major retailers across the country reporting their busiest 26 December on record.
DIY chain B&Q is to launch its January sale earlier than ever this year, on 17 December.