With the holiday only days away, retailers still look set for a hard time this Christmas.
There’s little relief predicted for the New Year with consumer demand and household spending expected to remain subdued well into 2007
It’s not all bad news however. Forecasts suggest that retail success will vary significantly across the UK, with some regions predicted to outperform the national picture leaving others falling further behind.
Yorkshire and the Humber look set to be the region hardest hit while London, the South West and the East Midlands show the greatest resilience.
The findings are according to the latest retail analysis and economic forecasts by FootFall and Experian.
Footfall analysis reveals that UK shopper numbers for November 2006 were down 7.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2005. December has also significantly been under performing so far.
Meanwhile, the latest Regional Planning Report from Experian suggests that higher interest rates and consumer caution will continue to subdue retail spending across all UK regions in 2007.
Dr Neil Blake, Director of Economics and Forecasting at Experian, said, “Households have long been feeling the pinch from higher debt repayments and dearer fuel bills, while prospects for employment and housing markets are weaker than for some years.
"Speculation about further rises in interest rates only reinforces the gloom.”
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