High Street faces two years of pain

18 November, 2011

The figures might show an increase in retail sales - but experts have predicted another two years of misery on the High Street.

Office for National Statistics data showed an, on the face of it, upbeat 0.6% rise in sales between September and October - but the increase was boosted by in-store promotions, with discounts of up to 50%.

The findings prompted accountant Deloitte to warn the high street faces a rough ride with “no sustainable growth until 2013 at the earliest”.

And it comes after gloomy predictions from the Centre for Economics and ­Business Research on Wednesday that jobless figures will keep growing for another two years.

Richard Hyman, from Deloitte, said: “Christmas 2011 promises to be the most important moment in retail trading we have seen for many years. Demand has been softening throughout the year as the impact of the ­Government’s debt reduction strategy has started to filter through to the pockets of consumers. Therefore, it is very difficult to see where future sales growth will come from.”

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