• April 2012 retail sales volumes: -2.3% on the month, -1.1% on the year

Commenting on the retail sales figures for April 2012 published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The fall in retail sales was unsurprising following the strong increase in March, although the decline was bigger than expected. However, this is mainly due to the sale of fuel for cars, which can be highly erratic. Averaging the monthly fluctuations over the past year indicates very modest growth, which confirms that the UK economy is still too weak.

“Although the government should continue with its plan to reduce the deficit, ministers should consider reallocating priorities towards more policies to support growth. Increasing infrastructure spending is certainly needed, and this can partly be accommodated within Plan A. If tax cuts are an option, cutting national insurance contributions rather than VAT would be more effective in supporting jobs and wealth creation.”


Notes to editors:

ONS: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rsi/retail-sales/april-2012/index.html

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

Media Contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk