Shop prices in the UK fell 0.4% in August 2019, recording the fastest rate of decline since June 2018, the latest BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index has revealed.
In the food category, inflation eased marginally to 1.6% in August from 1.7% in July. The fresh food segment saw inflation accelerate to 1.4% in this period, from 1.2% last month.
Ambient Food inflation slowed significantly to 1.8% in August from 2.4% in July, the study found.
The shop prices of non-food items, down 1.5%, declined at the fastest monthly rate since June of last year.
'The Real Winners'
Chief executive of British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson OBE, said, "Consumers were the real winners this month as prices fell at their fastest rate in over a year.
"Prices of non-food goods fell at a faster rate than both the previous month and the 12-month average, while food inflation eased slightly due to higher levels of discounting from supermarkets," she added.
Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, said, "August is often a difficult month for retailers made more challenging this year by [the] weather early in the month, and we have seen the return of vouchering by many supermarkets and some non-food retailers bringing forward end of season discounts to help drive sales."
The decline in shop prices of non-food items pushed overall prices into deflationary territory in this period, data showed.
Promotional offers by supermarkets helped in slowing down the rate of price increases in non-alcoholic beverages, sugar and confectionery, and bread and cereals.
Dickinson commented, "Weak consumer spending and stiff competition has kept prices down in the UK, however a disruptive no-deal Brexit, which would raise the cost of imported goods, could reverse this trend.
"In the interests of both consumers and retailers, the Government must redouble its efforts to find a workable agreement with the EU that would avoid a no-deal scenario."
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.