Commenting on the retail sales figures for April 2016, published on 19 May by the ONS, David Kern, BCC Chief Economist, said:
“After the disappointing decline in March, the strong retail sales recovery in April supports our view that in spite of major headwinds the UK economy continues to grow, albeit at a slowing pace.
“However, the contrast between buoyant retail sales and the problems facing other sectors such as manufacturing highlights the unbalanced nature of Britain’s recovery. To secure sustained growth we need a more balanced economic structure with a stronger focus on exports, investment and manufacturing.
“The fact that average store prices fell suggests that inflationary pressures in the economy are weak, and strengthens the argument for the MPC to persevere with low interest rates for the time being to support the recovery.”