Credit crisis: In Brief

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The Independent Online

Fuel

Tesco has cut petrol prices by 3p a litre. The oil giant Total and Morrisons followed suit. The average price of unleaded petrol is now 109.2p/l and diesel 120.6p/l. Petrol now costs 9 per cent less than the high of 119.9p on 17 July, with diesel prices 10 per cent cheaper. More cuts may be on the way. As the price of oil sank to a 12-month low, the Petrol Retailers Association said changes took between six and eight weeks to filter down to forecourts.

Workers worried about their jobs

Confidence: Around a third of workers are more concerned about job security than they were a month ago and 30 per cent of adults are struggling to pay bills, YouGov has found in research for the call centre provider Sitel. It found consumers were worried about safety of financial institutions following the crisis in banking. About half (49 per cent) of Britons with a financial services provider felt they had not received reassurance about their finances.

Autumn softens John Lewis fall

Retail: Sales in John Lewis department stores dipped by 0.5 per cent last week. But colder weather saw trade rise from the 8.3 per cent plunge the week before as customers snapped up warmer clothing and hot water bottles (200 per cent up) in the week to 4 October, taking sales to £51.6m. The web store johnlewis.com and the Oxford Street flagship store offset falls elsewhere, with sales up 30 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

Fish fashions change in crunch

Consumer: More cautious shoppers are buying a once-unfashionable fish – mackerel. Sales at Waitrose have risen by 76 per cent recently. At £5.99 a kilo, mackerel costs about a third of cod and its stocks are healthy. Jeremy Langley, Waitrose's fish buyer, said: "The credit crunch has led customers to experiment with more economical fish."

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