Published On: Tue, Apr 2nd, 2024
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Shop price inflation eases to lowest rate since December 2021 | Personal Finance | Finance

Inflation in shop prices fell to its lowest since December last year, with the decline being fuelled by lower food costs and healthy retailer rivalry. According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and NielsenIQ’s Shop Price Index, March saw shop prices rise by 1.3 percent on the previous year.

This is less than February’s increase of 2.5 percent, demonstrating a notable reduction in overall inflation.

The escalation of food prices dropped to 3.7 percent compared to last year, a decrease from February’s five percent. This marks the tenth consecutive month where inflation in this category slowed and is considered the smallest rise since April last year.

Further findings show that fresh food prices increased at an even slower rate, climbing only 2.6 percent in comparison to a 3.4 percent increase in the month prior.

Conversely, non-food product inflation also descended to 0.2 percent in March from 1.3 percent in February, marking the lowest inflation percentage since January of this year.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson shared her insights on these reports: “While Easter treats were more expensive than in previous years due to high global cocoa and sugar prices, retailers provided cracking deals on popular chocolates, which led to price falls compared to the previous month.”

She continued by highlighting other areas where prices had decreased:.

“Dairy prices also fell on the month as farmgate prices eased, and retailers worked hard to lower prices for many essentials.”

“In non-food, prices of electricals, clothing and footwear fell as retailers increased promotions to entice consumer spending.”

NielsenIQ’s head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins supported her conclusions, saying: “The slowdown in inflation continues and a key driver this month was a further fall in food prices.”

“A year ago, food inflation was 15 percent so this was to be expected.”

“But it is also helped by intense competition amongst the supermarkets as they look to drive footfall, with focused price cuts and promotional offers earlier in the month for Mother’s Day and now again in the weeks leading up to Easter.”

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