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

“A decline in January’s retail sales was predicted because of weather-related disruption, but the fall was worse than expected, and December’s figure was also revised down.  British retailers are obviously facing difficulties, and there is no significant sign that the economic recovery is gathering momentum.

 

“These figures show that there is clearly no case for the MPC to scale down its £200bn QE programme, or to contemplate higher interest rates.  Risks of a double-dip recession remain serious, and unless we see evidence that the economy is improving - from retail and other sectors - further measures to support growth may be needed.”