Retail gloom continues

The volume of retail sales in the three months to February was 0.6% down on the previous three months, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday.

Link: UK economy predicted to ‘hit a wall’ in 2006

BRC Director General, Kevin Hawkins, said: ‘The ONS figures out today come as no surprise and reinforce the BRC’s own sales figures released last week. Consumer confidence is weak and concern over a further increase in interest rates and uncertainty about house prices, continues to discourage spending.

Retailers are relieved the chancellor did nothing to further weaken consumer confidence, but we need a reduction in interest rates to help rebuild it.’

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