So is the headline on this BBC piece.
Have a guess if that's true or not? That's right, it's not. In fact shop sales were the best since records began.
The article itself is more accurate, it's the 'worst growth' for 15 years. But let's put this into perspective, the rate of growth was 1.2% (like-for-like was a fall of 0.9%, but that's irrelevant in a macro sense). I don't have the figures to hand, but if GDP in January (which would have to be estimated) was 1.2% higher than in January 2009 it would be a pretty good result. And in a recession partly caused by overstretched household budgets!!