Weak dollar keeps US tourists away, but the Russians are coming
Central London retailers managed a sales rise of 1.4 per cent in November, compared with the previous year, according to the London Retail Consortium (LRC). However, like-for-like sales were down 0.9 per cent during the period.

The figures suggest that recent fears of a Christmas nightmare may prove unfounded in the capital, although the LRC noted that the decline in US and Middle Eastern tourist numbers was not fully countered by an increase in Australian and Russian visitors.

LRC director David Southwell said: 'After two disappointing months for central London sales, November's growth will come as a welcome boost in the run-up to Christmas. Customers remain cautious, amid concern over interest rates, pensions and the housing market, but London retailers will be encouraged at the possibility that Christmas spending will continue to build in the coming weeks.'