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

“The unexpected fall in November retail sales highlights the obstacles facing Britain’s economic recovery. Although it is likely that the economy will register small growth in the fourth quarter of 2009, any recovery will be difficult to sustain if access to finance is not improved, and the regulatory burden on business is not eased.

“It’s too early for the Bank of England to consider withdrawing the stimulus provided by the quantitative easing programme, but the emphasis must be on measures aimed at boosting bank lending to small and medium-sized companies.”