Hot on the heals of these official figures is separate data from official sources showing that retail sales were down 0.3 per cent year-on-year in November. The news came as a surprise to City analysts, who expected the news to be more positive. Indeed, anecdotal evidence from the high street has been encouraging of late, and while some shops continue to struggle big-name brands such as Wickes, Laura Ashley, Carpetright and Spar have all reported strong figures this week. The Office of National Statistics, the government’s data gatherer, blamed poor sales at ‘non-specific’ retails such as supermarkets – for the drop. Related articles:Is this the turning point?Carpetright on the rise
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