ANALYST VIEWS: HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU BY THE RETAIL SALES FIGURES

GEORGE BUCKLEY| CHIEF ECONOMIST, DEUTSCHE BANK

I’m not as gloomy about the numbers as some people are. We have seen six months of increases in retail sales and there’s usually some form of kickback. With VAT going up next year consumers are going to make their purchases before the end of the year.

JAMES KNIGHTLEY | ECONOMIST, ING BANK

The numbers are awful. Rather than rise 0.3 per cent as forecast, sales fell 0.5 per cent month-on-month. We suspect consumer spending will remain subdued. Our base case remains for a long drawn out recovery rather than a double dip.

ALAN CLARKE |UK ECONOMIST, BNP?PARIBAS

July saw an increase of 0.8 per cent and the increases in the previous two months before this were also high.?So it was going to be difficult to maintain that. Also August was a wet month which won’t have helped sales a great deal.