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Latest BRC results: Shoppers hit the high streets as weather improves Monday, 20th February 2012
In the three months to end of January British retail managed to break its recent declining trend and report a 1.8 per cent rise in footfall compared to the year before.
The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium show a marked improvement on the 2.3 per cent year-on-year decline experienced in the last three months, although the figures were boosted by a strong year-on-year rise in December, as mild weather encouraged consumers to hit the shops.
Stephen Robertson, the BRC's director general, said: "The lift in shopper numbers for the quarter is almost entirely down to a strong Christmas. And December looks deceptively good because it's being compared with the heavy snowfall which affected the end of 2010.
"At the start of 2012, footfall numbers dipped again, showing underlying caution hasn't changed. Worries about personal finances and job security are putting people off shopping.
"Although inflation has started to ease, costs are still rising faster than wages. Any significant change in consumer sentiment is going to take time."