"At a time when our economic prospects are improving, this is not the moment to pull that support away. The CBI is right to say that the fiscal and monetary stimuli are both still needed," he said at the British Retail Consortium's annual retail industry dinner this week.
The past two years had been "some of the toughest retail conditions for decades", he said, praising retailers' innovation and flexibility. "Together, we've got to build on this strength for future success, increasing skills, developing a lead in low-carbon and maintaining a business environment that supports the creation of wealth and jobs."
Also at the event, BRC chairman Luke Mayhew urged government to abandon plans for national insurance increases, a supermarket ombudsman, carrier bag charges and gender pay-gap reporting. "As we drive productivity, we'll assist in the country's economic recovery and reducing unemployment, but only if consumer confidence is not undermined."
Meanwhile, Morrisons has become the last of the big four to join the BRC.