Shopper numbers slide in December

<p>Shopper numbers slipped last month, according to fresh data.</p>

The FTSE 100 has set off on the right foot in trading this morning (January 21st) after a report revealed the number of people making purchases dropped over the festive period.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), shopper numbers declined by 1.2 per cent in December compared to the previous year.

This falls in line with official Office for National Statistics data, which found that sales were 0.1 per cent down over the 31-day period compared to November, with clothing and groceries among the worst hit sectors of the market.

The BRC stated that the decline for the month overall came even though there was a 7.5 per cent rise in footfall in the week before Christmas.

Director-general of the body Helen Dickinson said: "Weak spending power is keeping people away and compounding long-standing difficulties in many of our town centres."

At 09:00 GMT today, the FTSE 100 rose by 0.2 per cent to an index value of 6170.6 points.

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