The Confederation of British industry (CBI) has increased the pressure on the Bank of England's monetary policy committee to lower interest rates when it meets on Thursday.
The CBI’s latest retail sales figures reveal 47% of retailers saw their sales volumes drop last month adding retailers have not seen an increase in annual sales since the end of 2004. It blames continuing anxiety over the housing market, interest rates and tax increases for the continuing slump in the retail sector and says the underling sales trend was down to minus 15% the lowest figure recorded in the CBI survey’s history.
Orders in July continued to fall at the fastest rate since July 1999 and are expected to fall again in August, the CBI says.
Sir Digby Jones, director of the CBI, says: “As the risk of inflation remains low, a timely cut in interest rates by the Monetary Policy Committee on Thursday is essential maintain growth and consumer confidence.”
“The argument for a ‘wait and see’ approach is fading fast. It is time for the Bank of England to get off the fence,” he adds.
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