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The mixed indicators about the state of the economy continued today, as retail figures showed spending fell 0.8% in the month of October.
However the Office for National Statistics also found that year-on-year figures showed an upward trend, with spending up 1.6% compared to 12 months previously.
Yesterday the ONS released labour market figures showing a 49,000 drop in unemployment, though Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King gave a pessimistic outlook on the economic recovery and slashed the UK’s growth forecast next year to 1%.
The director general of the British Retail Consortium, Stephen Robertson, described the figures as "miserable", and claimed high street stores across the country have "a lot of ground to make up" if they're going to make a profit over the Christmas period.
"It’s miserable on the high street at the moment. I don’t think anybody’s having a good time. Frankly the news headlines of big and small retailers having to shed jobs has been with us for the last few weeks," he told BBC News.
"We can already see that volumes are going backwards and we’re going to have to make up a lot of ground in the next six weeks if we’re going to turn in profit for this year."
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15/11/2012 on BBC News
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18/12/2014 on Newsnight, BBC Two
18/12/2014 on Pool clip
18/12/2014 on Sky News