Commenting on the retail sales figures for May 2014, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

 

“The fall in the retail sales volume in May is not surprising considering the strong increases seen in March and April. Longer-term comparisons still show solid growth in sales, and support our forecast that GDP rose by 0.8% on Q2 2014.

 

“However, these figures are a timely reminder that the economic recovery is still facing some obstacles. The strong value of the pound increases the probability that the share of imports in total sales is now rising, preventing the economy from rebalancing. The government must resist calls to increase interest rates and boost measures to support UK exporters.”