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
The man, who was in his 30s, has not been identified, while several other people are believed to have suffered serious injuries.
The Olympian was one of several sports stars who opened up to the prince during an event for his mental health charity Heads Together.
There will be sunny spells, with temperatures peaking at 23 Celsius (73F). However, Northern Ireland will experience frequent showers.