UK Shop Prices See 0.5% Decline In November: BRC-Nielsen Data
In a sixth consecutive month of decline, shop prices in the UK fell by 0.5% in November, according to the latest data from BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index.
It is below the 12-month average price increase of 0.1% and a 6-month average price decrease of 0.4%.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said, "This was driven, in part, by an easing of inflation for fresh food due to a strong crop yield for fresh fruits in the UK, and a fall in the global price of dairy."
Non-food prices fell by 1.6% in November compared to October’s decrease of 1.5%, below the 12- and 6-month average price declines of 0.8% and 1.4%.
Food inflation eased to 1.4% in November from 1.6% in October, again below the 12- and 6-month average price increases of 1.7% and 1.5%.
'Little Inflationary Pressure'
Head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, Mike Watkins, said, "With fragile consumer confidence, retailers are keeping price increases to a minimum to encourage consumers to spend and there is little inflationary pressure coming from the high street.
"With Black Friday discounts and promotions already giving shoppers further savings, any new pricing initiatives to drive demand in the final weeks up to Christmas will need to be balanced to protect margins."
In the fresh food segment, inflation decelerated to 0.6% from 0.8% in October, the lowest inflation for the category since March 2018.
Ambient Food inflation eased marginally to 2.6% in November from 2.7% last month.
'Threat To Future Prices'
According to Dickinson, consumers will welcome the fall in prices in the run-up to Christmas but several factors could push food prices in the longer term, such as the impact of flooding on the yields of many root vegetables and the rising global prices of meat.
"However, the biggest threat to future prices remains the risk of a chaotic no-deal Brexit pushing up the costs of EU imports, which account for 30% of the food we consume. The next Government should aim to provide clarity on the UK’s future relationship with the EU as soon as possible," she added.
© 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.