The British Retail Consortium said that the decision to hold rates heaped more pressure on businesses and consumer spending.
BRC Director General Stephen Robertson said: "As last week's election results showed the strain on personal finances is one of people's key concerns. I understand the Bank has the difficult balancing act of keeping inflation under control while sustaining the economy but financial indicators overwhelmingly point to a gloomy outlook. There's little sign yet of the rate cuts since December having much effect. With interest rate changes often taking a year to work through, the sooner the Bank cuts again, the sooner and greater the relief for hard-pressed consumers and retailers."