15/09/11

  • August retail sales down 0.2% on the month, flat (0%) on the year

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

“Retail sales in August were down compared with July, but better than many were expecting in light of the riots during the month. The flat picture over the year is disappointing, but not surprising. The government’s austerity measures, combined with higher food and energy prices, continue to squeeze disposable incomes.

“Growth in the third quarter of the year will remain weak, but fears of a new recession are unjustified. The economy will face serious challenges over the coming months, as concerns over the difficult international situation continue. But there is no need for pessimism. The government is right to persevere with efforts to reduce the deficit, but more thought must be given to additional measures within the plan that could stimulate economic growth. Maintaining low interest rates until the third quarter of 2012 is essential given the pressures faced by businesses and consumers, and the MPC may need to consider increasing the QE programme if weak growth continues.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

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.

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