Tesco Christmas ad for 2016

Tesco and Morrisons are expected to produce robust Christmas trading performances this week as the rampant growth of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl is checked, writes The Times. Sales at Tesco are forecast to have risen by up to 1% over the festive period — a modest increase that would point to continued recovery after years of turmoil. Analysts at Goldman Sachs forecast Morrisons will announce flat festive sales, but rival Bernstein has pencilled in a 2.5% increase. (The Times £)

Marks & Spencer is expected to defy the high street gloom by delivering its first increase in clothing sales at Christmas for six years. M&S is among the big retailers lining up this week to reveal sales over the critical trading period. Major supermarkets Morrisons and Tesco, as well as department store chain John Lewis, are expected to have weathered the storm but groups exposed to a tough clothing market and a steep decline in high street shoppers have suffered. (The Guardian)

Morrisons and Marks & Spencer are expected to emerge as the unlikely winners from Christmas trading this week as the gulf between online players and those with high street stores continues to widen. The City had been fearful that the festive period was a bloodbath for retailers after Next warned of bleak times ahead. (The Telegraph)

The pensions lifeboat and trustees of the Bernard Matthews pension scheme are probing whether its retirement plan was deprived of cash before the turkey producer went into administration last year. The trustees are working with the Pension Protection Fund to explore the possibility, as both seek to maximise recoveries for 700 members of the pension scheme following Bernard Matthew’s controversial administration. (The Financial times £)

Some retailers may be feeling the brunt of a tough Christmas, but their woes are not because shoppers stopped spending. Latest figures from Visa show that consumer spending rose by 2.6 per cent year-on-year in December. (The Times £)

The internet is fast becoming the destination of choice for shoppers, heaping pressure on traditional bricks and mortar retailers who are struggling to keep up with their online-only rivals, analysts have warned ahead of week in which a string of some of the UK’s most prominent shops will report crucial Christmas trading figures. (The Telegraph)

The Times (£) looks at “How online shoppers could be the saviours of our high streets”. It writes: Rather than leading to the demise of the high street, technology could lead to its renaissance. One reason to be cheerful is the sharp growth in the popularity of click-and-collect shopping.” (The Times £)

The pound has fallen to its lowest level against the US dollar for two months after remarks by Theresa May appeared to add to the likelihood of a “hard Brexit”. Sterling was down by a cent at just below $1.22 in overnight trading, its lowest level since 31 October. (Sky News)

Britain’s trade deficit with the rest of the world has fallen substantially, figures will show this week. UK exports are likely to have grown on the back of the weakened pound and November’s trade deficit is expected to have been £3.5bn. Although this is higher than the £2bn figure for October, economists say it represents a rosier overall picture of the economy’s performance towards the end of last year. (The Daily Mail)

The Co-op Bank has drafted in advisers to help offload a chunk of its balance sheet ahead of a crunch year that could be its last as an independent lender. PricewaterhouseCoopers has been asked to help the Co-op Bank find buyers for a portfolio of commercial real estate, private finance initiative and wind-farm loans as regulators intensify their scrutiny of it. (Sky News)

Homewares giant Dunelm has recruited the former boss of George at Asda – to help boost growth. The appointment of Fiona Lambert as product director at the £880million-turnover store chain was announced at its head office on Friday. (The Daily Mail)

A former Reckitt Benckiser executive has been sentenced to seven years in prison in South Korea after the deaths of about 100 people who were exposed to a humidifier disinfectant. (The Times £)

New federal rules in the US went into effect last week that ban the use of antibiotics to help livestock gain weight, a practice that leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria that pose health threats to humans. Meat producers will also need a veterinary prescription to use these drugs for other purposes such as treating or preventing disease. (The Guardian)

Demonstrators have blocked doorways and set off smoke bombs at Harrods in a protest against the store’s policy of keeping the majority of the service charge collected at its cafes and restaurants. (The Guardian)

Adam Crozier will join Costa Coffee and Premier Inn owner Whitbread as a non-executive director in April. Crozier, 52, who serves as chief executive of ITV, was previously chief executive of Royal Mail and the Football Association. (The Times £)