Steady retail sales must be supported by policies to boost growth

  • July 2012 retail sales volume up 0.3% on the month, up 2.8% on the year
  • Annual high street inflation slowed to 0.2% in June, the lowest since 2009

Commenting on the retails sales figures for July 2012, Caroline Williams CEO Norfolk Chamber of Commerce said:

“UK Retail sales made modest but satisfactory progress in July, with the monthly increase higher than expected. The 2.8% annual increase in retail sales volumes supports our belief that some of the pessimism surrounding the recent performance of the UK economy is unwarranted. This figure provides hope that in the third quarter of the year we will see some recovery in economic activity. There is no doubt that retails sales across Norfolk can be patchy but the success of the Norwich BID and the stream of national names heading from Norfolk demonstrates our continued retail strength. We have a lot of talented retailers in Norfolk and we need to ensure that they are supported especially those in the independent sector who are finding the current economic situation particularly challenging.

“The further decline in high street inflation is also welcome news. This will support disposable incomes and consumer spending, at a time when austerity and the eurozone crisis continue to put the economy under pressure. 

“Despite the positive job market figures published this week, it is clear economic growth in the UK is still far too weak. We will continue to encourage the government do much more to help businesses to grow and create jobs at a time when the public sector continues to shrink.

“We need to see more measures to boost Norfolk infrastructure and strengthen the construction sector, alongside forceful deregulation and moves towards the creation of a state-backed business bank. It is also important to ensure that the Funding for Lending scheme is made to work effectively so that credit-worthy businesses are able to grow. We are working with our Business and Finance Group (BFC) made up of the key financial businesses banks and accountants to monitor what is happening in Norfolk

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