January 19, 1991. Grocery in December increased by only 5% in value, according to the Central Statistical Office. After allowing for 6% inflation this reveals a 1% drop year on year. "Following a depressed November when volume fell by 1%, it was hoped a recovery over Christmas might be achieved. However, snow forced many stores to close on December 8 ­ traditionally one of the busiest Saturdays of the year." James May director general of the Retail Consortium added: "Uncertainty about the Gulf, rising unemployment, business failures and the jittery stock market combined to restrain spending." {{COUNTERPOINT }}