Hopes for a continuing pre-Christmas sales revival were dashed today amid signs that consumers are still limiting spending to essential items.
In its worst figures outside of a seasonal period for 11 months, the British Retail Consortium said October's UK retail sales were 0.1% lower on a like-for-like basis than a year ago, ending the modest revival seen in September.
The figures heighten nerves in the sector ahead of the festive period, particularly after the collapse of electricals chain Comet.
More top news
Flaviu, a two-year-old Carpathian lynx, was reported missing from Dartmoor Zoological Park on July 7, triggering a search operation.
The report also said that many graduates do not even see a 'earnings premium' from their years at university.
The country's counter-terrorism forces have regained control of the facility.