Overall shop prices reported deflation of 1.7 per cent in April, unchanged from the decline seen in March. This is in-line with the 12-month average.
Deflation in the DIY, gardening and hardware category remained above two per cent on last year and was -0.3 on last month.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) figures showed non-food deflation accelerated to 2.9 per cent in April from the 2.6 per cent fall in March. This is deeper the 12-month average of -2.7 per cent.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: "This month marks an important anniversary for retailers and shoppers alike. We’ve seen three years of falling shop prices, with prices falling by 1.7 per cent in April compared to a year earlier. The thirty-six consecutive months of price falls is being driven by intense competition across the industry. It has knock on implications for margins and profitability given the combination of continued investment in digital and rising cost pressures, compounded by recent policy announcements. Ensuring they do not pass on these cost increases, alongside the intensity of competition in the market, are the principal reasons why retailers continue to respond to their customers’ demands for value. As this month’s figures show, this has helped shoppers and kept inflation (and therefore interest rates) low to betterment of the UK economy."
Nielsen retailer and business insight head Mike Watkins said: "Whilst some food prices have stabilised this month, this is partly due to external factors, and will probably be short term. The underlying trend in shop prices is downwards with continued price cutting by supermarkets which is driving deflation. Further discounts may also be necessary on the high street as the cool spring has impacted the sales of many retailers, and an increase in the levels of promotion over the next few weeks to drive footfall is not out of the question."