No disasters, but little to celebrate as the capital's stores emerge from the Sales season
Sales in London stores in January were boosted slightly by a stronger US dollar, together with a rise in the number of tourists from the Middle East, Russia, Japan and China.

However, weakened consumer confidence among the capital's residents has been blamed for dampening trade. According to the latest figures from the London Retail Consortium (LRC) and KPMG, the capital experienced 0.1 per cent year-on-year growth in January, on a like-for-like basis. In contrast, December figures were down 2.6 per cent year on year.

London sales in January were only slightly worse than in the UK as a whole. Sales in the capital last year were stronger than the country as a whole, rising by an average of 2.1 per cent a month, compared with an average monthly gain of 1.6 per cent for the whole of the UK.

LRC director David Southwell said: 'While the news could have been worse for London's retailers, given that any growth experienced was a result of deep discounting and long clearance Sales at the start of the month, they will be far from happy about January's figures. Margins remain under incredible pressure and consumer confidence in the capital remains below that of the rest of the UK, with uncertainty over the housing market being felt even more strongly than elsewhere.'