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
The Bank of England has launched a secret project looking at the economic risk to Britain if the country votes to leave the European Union.
The actress and The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright will become husband and wife over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The annual event has earned a place in the record books ahead of the grand final of the 60th anniversary show in Austria this evening.