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U.K. Consumer Spending Slumps Again at the Start of 2018

A shopper browses a mobile device on Oxford Street in London, U.K., on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017.

A shopper browses a mobile device on Oxford Street in London, U.K., on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017.

Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

U.K. consumer spending had its first January decline in five years last month, dealing another blow to the hopes of retailers after an inflation squeeze sapped demand in 2017.

According to an index by Visa, spending fell 1.2 percent from a year earlier after falling 1 percent in December. It’s the eighth decline in the last nine months.