McDonald’s yesterday reported a 1.8 per cent drop in October sales at established restaurants around the world, its first monthly sales fall since March 2003, hurt by stiff competition in a weak economy. Analysts, on average, expected a 1.07 per cent decline in sales at restaurants open at least 13 months, according to Consensus Metrix. The results came just weeks after the world’s biggest hamburger chain posted its worst quarterly restaurant sales growth performance in nine years. October sales at restaurants open at least 13 months fell 2.2 per cent in both the US and Europe and fell 2.4 per cent in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. The US just edges out Europe as McDonald’s largest market for sales.