Saturday, February 23, 2008
John Lewis sent a shudder through the high street and sparked fresh fears over the health of the British economy yesterday by reporting its biggest sales decline for almost a year. John Lewis’s statement came as the AA reported that petrol prices had climbed to a record high, with unleaded petrol rising to 104.49p a litre. Motorists are now spending £500 million more a month to fill up their cars than a year ago and they face a further rise in petrol duty on April 1. George Buckley, the chief UK economist of Deutsche Bank, said: “I’m afraid that John Lewis’s figures are a sign of things to come. Debt repayments are going up, house prices are going down, taxes are at a 20-year high.