Retail prices fell for the thirteenth consecutive month in May, remaining unchanged at 1.4 per cent from April, with garden centres/DIYs being particularly competitive on price, says the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "May has seen shop price deflation remain unchanged at 1.4 per cent, the thirteenth consecutive month of deflation.
"We’ve also passed the fourteenth consecutive month of non-food deflation, mainly as the result of good bargains in categories popular with consumers in summer months such as clothing and footwear.
"Value was also a mainstay across the gardening and DIY categories, as retailers competed to cater for strong demand over the May Bank Holiday.
"Food inflation remaining at its lowest level since our records began is great news for hard-pressed households as the summer approaches, and confirms that retailers are responding to current conditions by matching attractive offers with those products most in demand at this time of the year.
"Further evidence that consumer confidence is steadily improving was picked up by the GfK index which is now at a nine year high. The everyday low prices offered by retailers have clearly played a role in the rise of household spending.
"With the World Cup fast approaching I would expect retailers to continue to keep prices down for the foreseeable future".
Discounters such as B&M Stores, which have 35 outdoor garden centres out of a total of 375 stores have been keeping gardening prices below other retailers.
B&Q saw margins hit by discounting, which the retailer put down to its 30 per cent year-on-year seasonal gardening lower margin sales announced last week. B&Q's first quarter sales were back to the level of 2011, after bad weather hit spring seasonal sales in 2012 and 2013.