• Retail sales volumes in March 2016 were down 1.3% on the month, but were up 2.7% on the year
  • Average store prices fell by 3.0% in March 2016, compared with March 2015

Commenting on the retail sales figures for March 2016, published today by the ONS, David Kern, BCC Chief Economist, said:

“The large decline in retail sales in March is disappointing, and although longer-term comparisons show that sales are still expanding, the pace of growth is slowing. These figures reinforce our view that UK economic growth slowed in the first quarter of 2016.

“The fact that store prices declined further in March confirms our assessment that overall inflationary pressures in the economy are still muted, and strengthens the argument for the MPC to persevere with the current low level of interest rates for the time being to support the fragile recovery.”