LONDON: A tiny rise in UK store sales during December has cast gloom across the prospects for 2008. Industry body, the British Retail Consortium, reveals that revenue increased just 0.3%, compared with the same month in 2006,

The BRC says the gain is the lowest for December in three years and has called on Thursday's meeting of the Bank of England to lower interest rates in a bid to boost consumer confidence and spending power in the face of the current credit squeeze.

Declares BRC director general Kevin Hawkins: "It's now incumbent on the bank to act quickly to ensure that the pain to consumers is kept to a minimum."

Data sourced from (UK); additional content by WARC staff