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Retail sales monitor shows ‘cause for optimism’, Bira says

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The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has said there is “cause for optimism” after the recent BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor for February 2022 which revealed that UK retail sales increased 2.7% on a Like-for-like basis from February 2021.

According to the BRC the performance comes on top of an improved 2021 performance that also saw an increase of 9.5%.

On a Total basis, sales increased by 6.7% in February, against an increase of 1.0% in February 2021. This is ahead of the three-month average growth of 6.5% but worse than the 12-month average growth of 11.3%.

Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “The UK economy bounced back in January, and better than expected. We have also seen retail sales growth in January and February with the return of people in shops and a reduction in on-line shopping.

“The recent set of figures would normally allow us to look forward with a degree of optimism. However, there is so much uncertainty at the moment with rising inflation, rising business costs and the war in Ukraine that any optimism is shadowed by real concerns for the rest of 2022.”

He added: “There will be real pressure on consumer spending and we know that the costs of running retail businesses is rising at a faster rate than sales. Later this month the chancellor will be making his Spring statement and we are asking him to cancel the proposed increase in business rates and retain the amounts paid by business in 2021.”

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