Eurozone Shoppers Help Capital Shrug off Recession

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Byline: HUGO DUNCAN City Correspondent

RETAIL sales in London jumped last month as the capital shrugged off the recession blighting high streets elsewhere in Britain.

The British Retail Consortium today said sales in London last month were 5.9 per cent higher than a year ago compared with a 1.8 per cent decline across the country.

London stores benefited from European shoppers taking advantage of the weak pound as well as half-term visitors from elsewhere in the UK, although sales were held back in the first week of the month after snow disrupted transport.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: "Despite the recession and a poor start to February due to extreme snow the capital's retail sales outperformed the rest of the UK.

"London retailers benefited as the weak pound made shopping here more attractive for overseas visitors -- especially those from eurozone countries.

Half-term also helped. More families opted to stay at home this year rather than go on foreign holidays. …