Shop talk Retail figures could put pressure on Bank

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Further pressure will be heaped on the Bank of England to slash interest rates in the coming months if retail sales figures released on Thursday show continuing problems on the high street. January saw a ferocious price-cutting war among retailers, and profits warnings from companies ranging from Marks & Spencer to Dixons-owner DSG. Further insight into the thinking of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee will be given in minutes from its last meeting, due out on Wednesday.