Weakening consumer confidence in Britain was laid bare after new figures revealed a much worse than expected October for retailers.
UK retail sales volumes dropped 0.8pc month-on-month in October, in contrast to a 0.6pc boost the previous month, as consumers tightened their spending.
Wal-Mart income rises by 9pc in Q3
Wal-Mart is reporting a 9pc increase in third-quarter net income as the world's largest retailer continues to bring shoppers back into its stores through its emphasis on low prices.
The US-based company says it earned $3.63bn (€2.83bn), or $1.08 per share, in the quarter ended October 31. That compares with $3.33bn, or 96 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Net sales rose 3.4pc to $113.2bn.
Obama in fiscal cliff discussions
US business executives have urged President Barack Obama and US lawmakers to prevent a year-end, across-the-board tax rise that will go into effect unless Congress acts.
Mr Obama met with 12 business leaders to discuss the fiscal cliff – a combination of government spending cuts and tax rises due to go into effect in 2013 – unless Congress acts.
Days lost due to disputes soars
THERE were 571 days lost to industrial disputes in the third quarter of this year, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. This compares with 93 days the same time last year.
The CSO noted that there was one industrial row in progress in the third quarter of the year involving 400 workers and one firm.
Sandy blamed for rise in US jobless
THE number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits surged last week to a one-and-a-half-year high, a sign Superstorm Sandy had dented the US economy by leaving tens of thousands of people out of work.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 78,000 to a seasonally adjusted 439,000, the Labour Department said. That was well above the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 375,000. An analyst from the department said several states from the mid-Atlantic and north-east reported large increases in claims due to Sandy, a mammoth storm that slammed into the East Coast in late October.