Food inflation slows to lowest-ever level

Food inflation slowed from 1.1% in February to 0.8% last month – a record low – according to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index March 2014.

Overall shop prices saw deflation for the 11th month running, from 1.4% to 1.7% over the same time period.

Non-food reported annual deflation of 3.2% from 3% in February - also the lowest ever recorded.

Helen Dickinson, director general, British Retail Consortium (BRC), said: “Retailers have rightly been getting recognition for their contribution to the economic recovery, including good news recently on apprentices and training.

“But keeping costs down for ordinary people is just as important. And that’s why the continuing deflation we are seeing in shop prices is such good news for consumers.”

She said the pressure on consumers’ purse strings had led retailers to respond with keen prices and promotions in order to maintain market share, with last month seeing the deepest deflation for eight years, and the lowest inflation ever recorded for food.

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight, Nielsen, said: “After a difficult start to the year for the industry with falling volumes in food and unpredictable weather impacting non-food, the current respite in inflationary pressure will be welcomed by retailers.”

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