• Retail sales volumes in January 2015: down 0.3% on the month, up for 5.4% on the year.
  • Average store prices fell by 3.1% in January 2015 compared with a year ago, the largest year on year fall since records began in 1997.

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

“The fall in sales in January was disappointing but largely expected, and fortunately the long-term trends continue to show solid growth. The huge decline in store prices is mostly due to a fall of more than 15% in petrol prices, and supports our assessment that we are likely to experience temporary deflation later this year. There is little reason to be concerned about upcoming deflation, since it boosts disposable income and leaves more money available for buying other goods and services. It is however important that interest rates stay at the current low level at least until early 2016, to help support UK businesses in reaching their growth and investment ambitions for the year.”