Retailers record half a year of declining prices in UK shops

UK SHOP prices fell during October, dropping for the sixth straight month as retailers struggle to sell non-food items.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Nielsen’s shop price index fell by 0.5 per cent from the same period last year, after a shallower decline of 0.2 per cent in September.

Despite a rise in food prices of 2.7 per cent over the 12 month period, according to the BRC’s calculations, other prices fell by 2.4 per cent, driving the average down. Clothing and footwear prices have been reduced particularly, and are now 10.7 per cent lower than they were in October last year.

Nielsen’s head of retailer and business insight, Mike Watkins, said: “Despite the slightly more optimistic economic outlook, across the industry we are seeing that consumers are still reluctant, unwilling or, in some cases, unable to increase spend.”

Despite a long-term squeeze on incomes, prices rose reliably before the second quarter of the year, when they began to fall against the same months in 2012.