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UK shop prices fell 0.5 per cent year on year in April, the smallest decline in almost three and a half years as retailers were impacted by a weaker pound, according to data from the British Retail Consortium.
The BRC’s UK Shop Price Index found overall prices fell at the slowest year on year rate since November 2013 and against a 0.8 per cent fall in March.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC said the April figures marked four years of falling shop prices but that the rate of deflation was slowing as a weaker pound impacted input prices.
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 put consumers first in the Brexit negotiations, ensuring that ordinary shoppers are protected from the cost of unwanted new tariffs.
Food prices rose 0.9 per cent year on year, slowing marginally from a 1 per cent increase in March. Fresh food prices rose 1 per cent year on year against a 0.9 per cent rise in the previous month.
“This is actually relatively low in the in the face of input costs that are rising much faster,” Ms Dickinson said of food inflation.
Non food prices fell 1.4 per cent year on year during April against a 2 per cent fall in March, with clothing prices seeing the largest fall at 5.4 per cent.
Mark 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.