The Bank of England’s decision to cut interest rates this morning by a quarter point to 5% has been welcomed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
It says the decision is the boost that struggling businesses and customers were hoping for.
BRC director general, Stephen Robertson, said: "It is a much-needed boost. With consumer confidence at its lowest level for 15 years, customers are reining in their spending and every prudent retailer is looking at cost-cutting more seriously than for some time.
"The Bank of England is understandably concerned about inflationary risks, but these are mainly coming from rising world energy and commodity prices which won't be affected by keeping rates high.
"Retailers are absorbing many of the input cost increases and intense retail competition means that non-food prices are actually falling, while food price inflation is slowing.
"With interest rate changes taking months to have any effect, further rate cuts are needed sooner rather than later to avoid a hard landing"