It is perhaps not surprising that the British Retail Consortium has just published its most damning report ever. Businesses have been bombarded with bad news for the best part of a year and are struggling to find anything positive to cling on to.
The BCC said its latest quarterly survey, covering the last three months of 2008, contained 'no positive features'. Instead, 'domestic demand is plunging, exports are falling, and confidence is plummeting'.
The really bad news is that there isn't a shred of good news in the report. All sectors, all regions and all sizes of businesses are suffering.
The BCC's chief economist said urgent action was needed if a prolonged recession was to be averted. “Interest rates will have to be reduced to almost zero early in 2009,' the BCC said. 'But interest rate cuts, though important, are no longer adequate on their own.”
The report added that new and more far-reaching measures like further fiscal stimulus and quantitative monetary easing should be introduced.
It also suggested that if the risk of deflation worsens, businesses will face new threats, and the authorities must be ready to introduce emergency policies such as cutting taxes.
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British Retail Consortium