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Growth in UK retail and consumer spending slowed last month to rates well below inflation, according to sector data that points to households cutting purchases ahead of the busiest shopping season of the year (Financial Times £).

Retail sales slowed last month as people eased back on their spending, with household budgets squeezed by high interest rates and inflation (The Times £)

Fears that the UK is heading for a recession this winter have intensified amid signs Britain’s hard-pressed households are cutting spending as they save for Christmas and higher fuel bills. (The Guardian)

One of Unilever’s biggest backers has welcomed the shake-up at the consumer goods giant under its new boss. Fund management star Nick Train said in an email: ‘Schumacher’s comments demonstrate that Unilever thinks that a fresh perspective on the business is necessary.’ (Daily Mail)

Big drinks companies are misleading customers with claims that their plastic water bottles are fully recycled or recyclable, according to consumer groups who have issued a formal complaint to the European Commission. (The Guardian)

Petrol theft has risen sharply in Britain, according to new data, and it could be down to “systematic criminal activity”. (Sky News)