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    Retailers bodies react to dip in inflation

    (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    Independent retailers have welcomed the fall in inflation, saying they are hopeful that the decline will have a positive impact on consumer confidence.

    The Office for National Statistics said that the slower pace of food price rises helped push down inflation, along with soft drinks, restaurants and hotels. The effect has also partially been offset by petrol prices and rental prices.

    Responding to the latest CPI inflation figures which show headline inflation falling to 3.4 per cent and food inflation falling 1.9 percentage points to 5.0 per cent, Andrew Goodacre, CEO of Bira, said, “It is good to see inflation falling, and hopefully, the decline will have a positive impact on consumer confidence.

    “This confidence would be further enhanced if the Bank of England now did the right thing and started to reduce interest rates, especially as energy prices, a factor in inflation, will fall again in April.”

    British Retail Consortium also welcomed the new figures though it also warned the government to not to be complacent.

    Kris Hamer, Director of Insight of the British Retail Consortium, said, “After a rocky start to 2024, inflation is once again on its way down. February’s figures were driven by falls in food and clothing and footwear as well as cheaper energy prices.

    “Food inflation fell once again to its lowest rate since January 2022, as retailers continue to deliver the best service to their customers and communities. Households benefited from falling prices of fish, crisps and jam.

    “While today’s inflation figures will be good news for consumers, Government must not be complacent. Significant costs on the horizon may put renewed pressure on overall inflation in the near future; these include a 6.7 per cent rise in business rates, and reforms to the packaging levy and electrical takeback schemes, all in the context of the biggest rise to NLW on record.

    “This will limit investment and drive up costs at a time when many families are still facing a higher cost of living.”

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