The shop vacancy rates also make for bad reading after a difficult start to the year, which has seen a raft of high-profile retail collapses. Fashion chain Republic was the latest to hit the wall last week, joining other major casualties HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster.
The British Retail Consortium said it was encouraging that, while higher than the 10.3% seen last January, the vacancy rate of 10.9% was lower than the 11.3% recorded in October.
But some regions are particularly badly affected by vacant shops, with the rate now standing at 17% in Wales, 17.2% in Northern Ireland and 10.2% in Scotland.
More top news
Northwestern Scotland and Northern Ireland face a rain-hit weekend, while the rest of Britain enjoys some bright but generally dry weather.
All this week while reporting, I have been taking photos. They offer powerful portraits of the lives affected by the desperate outbreak.
Some of the world's biggest football clubs will ask FIFA to move the 2022 World Cup to spring.