High street sales falter

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The Government received mixed economic news yesterday, with factory output rising unexpectedly, but the Confederation of British Industry suggesting that the recent revival in high street spending may have stalled.

Manufacturers faced the largest monthly rise for 16 years in the cost of their fuel and raw materials in November, resulting from the fall in the pound since Black Wednesday. This may feed through to inflation.

The figures had little impact on the pound. But the Bundesbank intervened to support the French franc in the exchange rate mechanism.

Spending stalls, page 20