British Retail Consortium/Nielsen index shows retail deflation

Overall shop prices reported deflation of 2.0 per cent in February from 1.8 per cent in January.

Food returned to deflationary territory, falling 0.4 per cent in February from January’s 0.1 per cent rise.

On a 12-month average basis, the Shop Price Index reported deflation of 1.8 per cent.

Non-food deflation remained at 3.0 per cent for the third consecutive month.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: "Another fall in shop prices was seen in February, down 2.0 per cent compared with a year ago and a further fall on the numbers we saw in January as competition in the industry continues apace. This now marks the 34th consecutive month of price drops and 35th for non-food prices.


"Within non-food, clothing, footwear, electricals, DIY, and books all saw large reductions in prices while the move back into deflationary territory in the food category confirmed that last month’s marginal rise was just a blip.


"With consumer confidence falling back and wage growth remaining subdued, retailers continue to support their customers with prices and promotions to maintain market share in the tough trading environment."


"Against this back drop we are asking government to work more collaboratively with us to address business rates and ensure the successful implementation of policy measures, such as the National Living Wage and the apprenticeship levy."


Nielsen retailer and business insight head Mike watkins said: "Getting a larger share of the wallet of shoppers continues to a challenge for many food and non-food retailers and competition remains intense on the high street. Food prices continue to fall as Supermarkets are working hard to stimulate sales with price cuts rather than multi-buy promotions, and this is leading to continued deflation in food. With uncertain market conditions, offers and discounts are likely to continue for the time being."


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