Shop prices fall again to ease Christmas costs

Tim Wallace
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SHOP prices fell again in November, industry figures showed yesterday, recording the seventh consecutive month of deflation on the high street.

Overall prices fell 0.3 per cent compared with the same month of 2012, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said.

Food prices increased by 2.3 per cent on the year, but other products saw an overall dip of two per cent, dragging the average change into negative territory.

However, the data still represent a fall in food inflation as good harvests have pushed down prices on international commodities markets.

Corn prices are down 43 per cent on the year, coffee prices are down 32 per cent and the cost of wheat has fallen 28 per cent compared with November of last year.

Meanwhile clothes and shoes cost 10.1 per cent less than they did a year ago and electrical goods prices are down three per cent.

Others are only growing slowly – books and home entertainment products have seen prices edge up 0.4 per cent on the year.

“Deflation is great news for hard-pressed households as Christmas gets closer, and confirms that retailers are reading current conditions well and matching the mood in their promotions and product offers,” said the BRC’s Helen Dickinson.

“Non-food has been deflationary since March, and November continued the trend, mainly fuelled by promotions in fashion, furniture and electricals.”