Retailers and services struggle with squeeze on spending

Statistics show that UK economy entered new year on a downbeat note

Britain’s retailers battled through “tough” trading conditions in January as consumers preserved their cash for essential food shopping and shunned big ticket purchases.

Non-food sales declined by 1.2% in the three months to the end of January with furniture sellers, shoe shops and high street clothing retailers recording their worst performance since 2009, according to British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG data.

Related: UK services sector growth falls to 16-month low

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