Shop prices fall further as high street struggles

SHOP prices recorded another fall in September compared to a year ago, as the high street continues to suffer from consumers tightening their purse-strings in the downturn.<br /><br />Overall shop prices fell 0.1 per cent over the month, having already fallen 0.1 per cent in August, the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index (SPI) shows today. But though the price of non-food goods posted a more dramatic 1.4 per cent decline as shoppers shied away from big-ticket items like electricals and furniture despite the temporary VAT cut, food prices continued to rise.<br /><br />Food prices rose by 2.5 per cent compared to September last year, driven by a rise in tinned and packet food inflation. Fresh food inflation fell to an all-time low of 0.8 per cent in September, the seventh successive monthly fall.<br /><br />The rate of food inflation has fallen from a March high of nine per cent as sterling recovers from its period of sharp depreciation in 2007 and 2008.