The latest Retail Traffic Index figures, drawn from over one thousand stores nationwide by UK retail analysts Solution Products Systems, show signs that consumers are beginning to get twitchy about the state of the economy.

This may be caused by the events in Afghanistan as well as news of a downturn in manufacturing, job losses around the country and bad press about house prices. Wednesday’s news that unemployment is rising for the first time under this government could accelerate the decline.

During the first week of October week-on-week retail traffic levels fell by 5%, followed by a further 3% last week: “By itself this is not unexpected," says SPS director of knowledge management, Dr Tim Denison.

“October is always a quiet month on the high street, but of some concern is the fact that year-on-year traffic levels are also down, by 4% over both weeks,” observed Denison. “It is too early as yet to diagnose a cause, and two weeks of data doesn't constitute enough to produce a robust trend, but we shall be watching the figures closely over the next fortnight.”

News source: Solution Products Systems