Anyone who thought the Olympics would combine with warm weather to get us dipping into our pockets should get an award for foolish optimism. Families remain marooned in a three-way financial hurricane - rising prices for essentials like fuel; low wage settlements and deplorable job insecurity. Today's new figures from the British Retail Consortium only reflect what every family already knows. Shops can never do better financially than shoppers - and shoppers are feeling the crunch.
Even online sales growth has slowed to a trickle, the number of empty shops has grown yet again - and to add to the retail gloom people held off buying the new fashion lines.
August was just plain odd in shopping terms - a unique blend of one-off sport and changeable weather. The much more significant period starts this week - as shops start their big run-up to Christmas. They hope we are saving to splash out. Many believe they are in for another big disappointment