Seasonal figures

Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward, mayor and mayoress Cllr Geoff  and Tina Fazackarley, with other councillors at the topping out Picture: Malcolm Wells (171120-8909)

Ceremony held to mark latest phase of Fareham Innovation Centre extension

Retailers saw a steady start to the Christmas season last month, according to the latest high street trading data.

Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics show nationwide sales rose 0.3 per cent in November.

The sales figures are lower than the forecast 0.7 per cent, but are also 1.1 per cent higher than the same time in 2010.

But as reported yesterday, Portsmouth retailers are bracing themselves for a tough post-Christmas period, when the rise in VAT from 17.5 to 20 per cent will kick in.