Shop prices continue to fall

Shop prices have decreased slightly this month, and were ahead of the 12-month average inflation, according to a new report.

The BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index shows that the rate of shop prices fell 0.4 per cent year-on-year in October, while there was a 0.6 per cent decline in September. This is below the 12- and six-month average price changes of 0.2 and -0.2 per cent respectively.

Non-food deflation decelerated to 1.5 per cent in October from -1.7 per cent last month, similarly below the 12- and six-month average price declines.

“Consumers continue to benefit from lower shop prices, with October being the fifth consecutive month of decline,” commented Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium.

“Non-food prices have fallen well below the 12-month average, with greater discounting taking place as retailers seek to stimulate additional sales. The year has seen relatively weak sales and retailers hope that Black Friday and Christmas will reverse this trend with the help of lower prices.”

“Furthermore, while the threat of a no-deal Brexit has been pushed back, it has not gone away. To remove this threat, and the price rises that would result, the government must secure an agreement with the EU as soon as possible to give consumers and retailers the certainty they need.”

Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight at Nielsen, added: “With an uncertain economic outlook at the start of the ‘golden quarter’, the industry has been working hard to stimulate demand and to keep price increases as low as possible.

“Seasonal ranges are now in store, and we can expect an increase in promotional activity in the run up to Christmas, which will give shoppers further savings at the checkout.”