Britons had reason to cheer last month as food prices fell, while real wages rose for the first time in five years, according to an index of retailers out today.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Nielsen said food prices fell by 0.2 per cent year-on-year in November – the first decline since the firms’ records began in December 2006. Non-food items fell by 2.9 per cent, albeit at a slower pace than the previous month, dragging overall shop prices down 1.9 per cent. The BRC said November was the 19th month in a row of price deflation.
Falling commodity costs, particularly oil, and cheaper imports thanks to the strong pound has kept prices low and driven the overall rate of inflation below the rise in average wages.
At the same time competition among grocers has led to price cuts on thousands of products.
“With food prices down, wages up, a highly competitive market keeping inflation low, and Christmas around the corner, there are plenty of good reasons to assume a strong trading period lies just head of us,” BRC’s Helen Dickinson, said.