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    Shop price inflation returns to normal level

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    Shop price inflation has declined to its lowest pace in nearly three years and is said to be back to “normal levels”.

    According to data released by British Retail Consortium (BRC) today (28), shop price annual inflation eased to 0.6 per cent in May, down from 0.8 per cent in April. This is below the 3-month average rate of 0.9 per cent. Shop price annual growth is its lowest since November 2021.

    Non-Food remained in deflation at -0.8 per cent in May, down from -0.6 per cent in the preceding month. This is below the 3-month average rate of -0.4 per cent. Inflation is its lowest since October 2021.

    Food inflation decelerated to 3.2 per cent in May, down from 3.4 per cent in April. This is below the 3-month average rate of 3.5 per cent and is the thirteenth consecutive deceleration in the food category. Inflation is its lowest since February 2022.

    Fresh Food inflation slowed further in May, to 2.0 per cent, down from 2.4 per cent in April. This is below the 3-month average rate of 2.3 per cent. Inflation is its lowest since November 2021.

    Ambient Food inflation decelerated to 4.8 per cent in May, down marginally from 4.9 per cent in April. This is below the 3-month average rate of 5.0 per cent and is the lowest since June 2022.

    Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said, “Shop price inflation has returned to normal levels, at just 0.6 per cent. This was helped by slowing food inflation, with fresh food inflation falling to its lowest level since November 2021.

    “Meanwhile, ambient food inflation remained stickier, especially for sugary products which continued to feel the effects of high global sugar prices. In non-food, retailers cut furniture prices in an attempt to revive subdued consumer demand for big-ticket items, and football fans have been able to grab some bargains on TVs and other audio-visual equipment ahead of this summer’s Euros.”

    “Retailers are playing a key part in bringing inflation down, but future government policy must support this too. Retail plays a key role in every part of the country, from the smallest village to the largest city, employing millions of people, and serving millions more. As the cost burden of new policies rises – from business rates to packaging taxes – this affects not just the businesses, but their customers too. With an election in a matter of weeks, it is vital that parties detail their support for customers and retailers in their upcoming manifestos.”

    Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, NielsenIQ, said, “After a number of months of falling input prices, we are now seeing food inflation stabilise and retailers continue to pass on price cuts to shoppers. Across the industry whilst inflationary pressure has eased and there is some improvement in shopper sentiment, the unseasonable weather has dampened retail sales so lower prices look set to continue and promotional activity is likely to increase drive demand.”

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