Shop prices fall for four years in a row

New figures show

Overall shop prices reported deflation of 0.5 per cent in April from the 0.8 per cent fall in March. This is the shallowest deflation rate since November 2013.

Non-food deflation decelerated to 1.4 per cent from the two per cent decline in March. This is the shallowest deflation rate since April 2013.

Food inflation decelerated to 0.9 per cent from the one per cent rise in March.

Fresh Food reported inflation of 1.0% in April from the 0.9 per cent rise in the previously month.

Ambient Food inflation decelerated to 0.8 per cent in April from the 1.3 per cent rise in March.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive, British Retail Consortium, said: “This month’s figures mark the four-year anniversary of falling shop prices as competition in the industry continues to keep a lid on prices for consumers. Nevertheless, the rate of deflation has been decelerating month-on month as retailers battle with inflationary pressures resulting from the impact of the weaker pound on input prices.

“Non- food categories were the biggest contributor to the easing of overall deflation this month, recording the shallowest rate since April 2013. Meanwhile, food inflation paused and remains at around one per cent. This is actually relatively low in the in the face of input costs that are rising much faster.

“Prices are undoubtedly on an upward trajectory, which we expect to gradually play out over the course of the year. With the squeeze on household incomes tightening, the retail industry expects plans from the next Government that puts consumers first in the Brexit negotiations, ensuring that ordinary shoppers are protected from the cost of unwanted new tariffs.”

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight, Nielsen, said: “Shoppers are seeing inflation in travel, fuel and when spending away from home, so retailers are cautious about passing on cost price increases. So there continues to be deflation in shop prices albeit we are already seeing inflation in food. In the non-food channel and with a late Easter there was a need to stimulate demand and clear stock in readiness for summer ranges, and seasonal promotions also kept prices low as retailers looked to increase footfall and maintain consumer spend.”

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