Retail figures are 'reminder of economic realities'

Stephen Robertson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, said it looked like the modest sales revival seen in September was something of a "false dawn".

He said:

The disappointing figures are a reminder of the difficult economic realities many are still facing.

Falling consumer confidence means people are limiting spending to essential items and are cautious about committing to big-ticket and discretionary buying.

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Retail sales slump again

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.