British shop prices fall at joint slowest rate in eight months
LONODN – British shop price deflation in April matched its most moderate level in eight months and food prices turned positive, according to a survey that added to signs that inflation is slowing picking up.
Shop prices fell by 1.7 percent year-on-year in April, the same as March’s decline and less severe than a 2.0 percent drop in February, the British Retail Consortium said on Wednesday.
Food prices rose for only the second time since August, edging up by 0.1 percent from April last year. But a 2.9 percent fall in non-food prices was more pronounced than in March.
The stagnation of shop prices was driven by intense competition across the retail industry as shops resorted to more discounts to try to bring in consumers, BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
Shop prices as measured by the BRC have now been in negative territory for three years.
Inflation in Britain sank below zero last year but has picked up in recent months, rising to 0.5 percent in year-on-year terms in March. It remains a long way below the Bank of England’s 2 percent target. -Reuters