Dividends – how long can high dividend yield companies keep paying shareholders? Interest and savings rates remain low but the number of companies offering reasonable dividend payments is reducing. Retail Sales – December 2009 marked an eight year high in retail sales but has been quickly followed up by the worst January figures in fifteen years.

The inclement weather and VAT rise may have had some impact on the reduction, but it is clear that consumer uncertainty about the state of the economy and the cost of food & ultilities are influencing spending patterns.

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