FTSE 100 opens down as consumer spending fell in December

<p>The FTSE 100 has opened lower as one consumer spending report fails to boost confidence.</p>

The FTSE 100 lost ground in trading this morning (January 7th) on news the Christmas boost the retail sector was hoping for did not materialise in December.

According to the Visa Europe expenditure index compiled by Markit, spending dropped by 1.7 per cent year on year over the course of the 31-day period and by 0.9 per cent compared to the previous month.

Spending on the high street dropped by two per cent compared to December 2011 and online transactions declined by 0.4 per cent, while over the fourth quarter total expenditure dropped by 0.9 per cent, heightening fears that another recession may be imminent.

Markit's chief economist Chris Williamson said: "Consumer spending remained disappointingly weak in December. The drop in fourth-quarter spending raises the likelihood that the economy may have contracted again."

At 08:25 GMT, the FTSE 100 in London fell by 0.1 per cent to an index value of 6079.4 points – a fall of 10.4 points.

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