• The volume of retail sales in October 2012: down 0.8% on the month, up 0.6% on the year
Commenting on the retail sales figures for October 2012 published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:“The fall in retail sales is disappointing, and supports our view that GDP will see a sharp slowdown in the fourth quarter of the year, following the recent 1% increase. Annual inflation in the retail sector accelerated further in October, and although it is still modest at 0.9%, the trend is a concern. Low store price inflation supports consumer spending at a time when the UK is facing difficult challenges, and it is important that the upward trend in inflation is reversed before too long. Falling inflation will benefit the UK economy as it will reduce the squeeze on businesses and consumers, and underpin domestic demand.
“While this should not add to unnecessary gloom, it supports the tough message conveyed by yesterday’s Inflation Report. Businesses are adjusting to a difficult environment, but the government must step up and pursue more policies to boost growth. Only then can the private sector drive a sustainable economic recovery.”