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Dire Xmas for shops.

SHOPS yesterday reported Christmas sales were the "worst ever".

And store chiefs said till receipts had never been lower in the three months leading up to the festive season.

Retailers called for an "immediate and substantial" interest rate cut.

The British Retail Consortium said even Christmas food and booze couldn't lift sales out of the doldrums and that, overall, December takings had showed no growth on the previous year.

Only electricals, toilet-ries and perfumes bucked the trend as shoppers saved their cash for the January sales.

BRC Director General Ann Robinson said: "The consumer economy has slowed or come to a stop.

"We need the Bank of England to make an immediate substantial cut in the interest rate to show its willingness to support the economy."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 12, 1999
Words:126
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