UK High Streets had a bumper weekend with pre-Christmas sales tempting shoppers to ignore the economic gloom.

According to the National High Street Index, footfall in the UK's town centres on Saturday was 30% higher than on the previous Saturday andan amazing 7% higher than on the last Saturday before Xmas in 2007.

A spokesman said: 'Despite the current economic gloom, the swathe of sales currently underway amongst retailers appears to be encouraging shoppers into our high streets in ever greater numbers.

'Our large regional cities seem be benefiting to an even greater extent, with an increase in shopper numbers on Saturday of 21%, compared with the Saturday before Xmas last year.

'These results appear to be a turnaround for our high streets since November, when footfall was 6% lower than in November 2007.'