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

“Better-than-expected retail sales, though partly explained as a rebound from the weather-related slump in January, reduce the risk that GDP may fall in the first quarter of 2010.  

“Although the economy remains weak and retailers are still struggling, these positive figures provide a more favourable background for the next Government - whatever the result of the General Election - to present a more credible plan for tackling the UK’s unsustainable public finances.   

 “This plan will make it easier for the Monetary Policy Committee to keep interest rates low for an extended period, giving business a greater opportunity to drive recovery.”