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BCC: Trend in Retail Sales Up, in Spite of Fall in June

  • Retail sales volume in June 2015 are down 0.2% from May, but up 4.0% year on year
  • Average store prices fell by 2.9% in June 2015 compared with June 2014

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

"These figures are slightly disappointing as they show a small fall compared with May, at a time when most analysts expected an increase. Longer-term trends still show healthy growth in retail sales of 4% compared with the year before, although, even there, we are seeing some signs that the pace of growth is decelerating.

"There are two important messages conveyed by these figures. First, growth in consumer spending remains strong but, while a vibrant retail sector is important to the economy's wellbeing, our growth remains too reliant on the consumer. Greater efforts are needed to make our growth more balanced with an emphasis on investment and exports.

"Second, the in-month fall in sales suggests that growth may not be as strong as some people believe and confirm that the recovery is still facing challenges, particularly in the face of international uncertainties. Given this uncertain background, coupled with the fall in average store prices, we believe that the clamour in some quarters for an early interest rates increase is premature and could choke our economic recovery."

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