Calls for interest rate cut
Retailers are calling on the Bank of England to lower interest rates this week, after the latest figures revealed the surge in High Street spending in the January sales petered out by the end of the month.
The British Retail Consortium said the underlying trend in sales was flat and the business climate challenging. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has also revealed that new car sales were more than 13% lower last month than in January 2005.
However, most financial analysts agree that the wider UK economy is set for growth this year, and the housing market is healthy, indicating that the Bank of England is likely to maintain the base interest rate at 4.5% when it meets on Wednesday.