-       Retail sales volumes in July 2015 are up 0.1% on the month, and up 4.2% on the year

-       Average store prices fell by 3.0% in July 2015 compared with July 2014


Commenting on the retail sales figures for July 2015, published today by the ONS,David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"After falling slightly in June, retail sales increased slightly by 0.1% in July. However, at 4.2% the annual growth in sales remains very strong and continues at a much faster pace than the economy as a whole.

"This robust annual growth in retail reinforces our assessment that the UK economy remains too dependent on consumer spending. While a vibrant consumer sector is important to the economy's well-being, it is clear that greater efforts need to be made to make our growth more balanced, with more emphasis on investments and exports.

"At the same time, the slowdown in the monthly figures is a reminder that the recovery is still fragile. Given that falling store prices show deflation in the retail sector, we believe that the clamour in some quarters for early interest rate increases is premature.

"British businesses still need a period of stability with low interest rates."