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    Bira reacts to retail sales dip as pound plunges to 37-year low

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    The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has said the latest sales figure decline is evidence the cost-of-living crisis has crushed consumer confidence.

    Today it was revealed how the pound fell to a new 37-year low against the dollar and UK retail sales fell sharply in August as the rise in the cost of living has continued to hit households.

    This has been a larger-than-expected drop of 1.6 per cent in sales volumes, prompting concerns over the economy.

    “The latest retail sales figures, showing a sharp 1.6 per cent decline in August, confirm what retailers have been saying for some time,” said Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre. “The cost of living crisis has damaged consumer confidence and reduced spending, and that is a real concern for independent retailers as we approach the most important time of the year for retail sales.

    “These latest figures show how difficult life is on the high street. If the government needed further evidence that decisive action is needed, they now have it. It is therefore even more disappointing to hear that any help with the spiralling energy costs may be delayed until November, and suggesting that support will be back dated does not help the ‘here and now’ cash flow pressure on small retail businesses.

    He added: “We want to see positive statements for the Chancellor next week with details on the support package for businesses and how consumer confidence will be restored.”

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