Record drop in shop prices with 11th month of deflation in March

SHOP prices tumbled further in March, with the fastest deflation for more than seven years recorded by a major monthly report on the sector.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Nielsen’s latest research, shop prices fell by 1.7 per cent in the year to March, the largest drop since the groups began keeping records in 2006.

Food inflation provided the upward contribution to the index, but prices rose by only 0.8 per cent over the 12 month period, the most muted increase ever.

The decline of shop prices comes as overall inflation across the UK has softened markedly – the Office for National Statistics recorded consumer price inflation of just 1.7 per cent in February, below the Bank of England’s target after years above two per cent.

March is the 11th month in which shop price deflation has been recorded. However, Helen Dickinson of the BRC commented that the outlook for commodities suggested that there may be more upward pressure on prices in the near future.