Dominic Curran, property policy advisor at the British Retail Consortium, said that the CPI figure means that "retailers will have to cough up an extra £137m from April".
"Already, while retail accounts for 5% of the economy, it pays a massive 25% of all business rates.
"This £137m increase will reduce the ability of retailers to invest in their business, their staff and their shops.
"The chancellor must take action on rates in the forthcoming Budget and scrap ‘downwards transition’, which takes £1.3bn from retailers and uses most of it to subsidise rates in other industries.
"Meanwhile, with the retail industry facing store closures and jobs losses, the government should freeze the impending business rates increase.”