Commenting on the Bank of England’s latest Trends in Lending report, and on the retail sales figures released today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:  

“The Bank of England’s report confirms our assessment that the flow of lending to UK firms remains negative. While some larger firms reported that credit availability had eased, many others had concerns about access to finance. We believe that persistent weakness in lending poses very real threats to a sustained UK economic recovery. 

Mr Kern added, “October’s retail sales figures are positive. They reinforce hopes that the economy will return to growth in the fourth quarter, and that the initial GDP estimate for the third quarter will be revised upward.   

“Yet, any positive developments will prove to be temporary unless business has the capacity and finance needed to respond to rising demand. The Monetary Policy Committee and the Government must implement measures to improve access to finance and boost confidence.”