PRESSURE on consumers is becoming an all-too-familiar feature of economic releases these days. And it is writ large in Scottish Retail Consortium figures for October showing the sharpest year-on-year drop in sales value in the non-food category since January 2012.

As the Brexiters lead us on a far-from-magical mystery tour out of the European Union, the UK population pays the price for last year’s referendum vote. The Remainers are having to pay for the folly of the Brexiters on the economic front. And the Brexiters, whether or not they choose to recognise it, are footing part of the bill arising from their referendum choice.

There was always an inevitability that the Brexit vote would send the pound tumbling. After all, that is what happens to a currency when a country’s economic prospects deteriorate significantly. And, make no mistake, the UK’s economic prospects are much worse than they were before June 23, 2016.

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It was also inevitable sterling weakness would fuel inflation, as imports became more expensive for UK companies and consumers.

With companies nervous ahead of Brexit, and with employees’ negotiating power having seemingly been eroded hugely in the years since the global financial crisis in any case, nominal pay rises remain weak. So real pay is falling.

Among those stuck right in the middle of this unhappy economic state of affairs are the retailers.