British Retail Consortium (BRC) Director General, Helen Dickinson, said that the retail figures released by the ONS confirms their own findings of a poor beginning to Christmas sales, but added that there was still hope.
This confirms our own findings that Christmas shopping was slow out of the starting blocks in November, as pressures on budgets and fears about the future left many of us reluctant to commit to spending early.
But it’s the finish which matters, and the signs are that sales and shopper numbers have been building at a respectable pace throughout December, especially in recent weeks.
With Christmas falling on a Tuesday this year this weekend will be the critical one – I’m expecting a last-minute rush but overall in sales terms it will be neither a bumper Christmas nor a disaster.
More top news
Breezy and wet tonight as rain sweeps in from the west meaning a miserable start to Sunday morning.
Prince William outlined a "huge disconnect between the sense of fair play" and "allegations of corruption" within Fifa.
Controversial columnist Katie Hopkins will not face charges over a Twitter outburst that described Scottish people as "little sweaty jocks".