Retail Association comments on disappointing festive sales figures

Independent Retailers Association says interest rate fall a step in right direction – but customers still hurt in pocket

The British Independent Retailers Association has commented on today’s announcement that UK inflation is down to 8.7% by saying customers still aren’t feeling the benefit.

The announcement by the Bank of England that inflation rates have dropped to 8.7% has been met with some worry as food prices remain at an all-time high.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has also said that electricity and gas prices have contributed to around 1.4% points to the decrease in the annual inflation rate, however food prices are continuing to rise at the fastest annual rate since 1977. Other costs rising are in recreation and culture, alcohol, tobacco, communication and transport.

BIRA, which works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, has said that they were pleased to see inflation fall, but the ‘devil was in the detail’.

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of BIRA said: “We are of course pleased to see inflation rates fall and consumers will be too. However this is being compared to last year when energy prices started to soar.

“What we can’t ignore is that we still have a problem with food inflation and this is really hurting other consumer expenditure, so the devil really is in the detail of today’s announcement. Bills are soaring for people, and with food and essentials still increasing there is still a worry in every household, and consumer confidence has a long way to go,” he added.

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