UK shop prices hit record low
Shop prices in the UK were lower than ever last month, the British Retail Consortium announced today. Overall shop prices reported deflation for the 23rd month in a row, accelerating to 2.1% in March, from 1.7% in February, according to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index.
Annual food deflation reached 0.9% in March, from a 0.4% fall in February. The Shop Price Index reported deflation of 1.7% on a 12-month average basis, and non-food deflation accelerated to 2.8% in March form 2.5% in February.
In the Clothing & Footwear category, deflation remained at 7.8% for the second consecutive month, above the three-month average of 7.5%. The sub-categories Clothing Accessories, Children’s and Women’s Clothing continued to report deflation above the overall rate. The only category to report annual inflation this month was babywear. Cotton prices were down 28% year-on-year, positive news for both retailers and consumers.
BRC Director General, Helen Dickinson, said: "Prices in Britain’s shops reached another new low, this month by -2.1 per cent. That’s the deepest deflation rate since our records began in December 2006. Food prices saw a further drop, largely as a result of promotions for fresh food, whilst non-food prices fell at a faster rate than last month, hitting a twenty-fourth consecutive month of deflation."
"Clothing and electricals continue to outshine by offering consumers eye-catching bargains. In fact, there’s evidence of plenty of promotions and price-cuts in non-food items which should help drive up sales at a time when retailers are turning their attention to the Summer ranges."
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