August decline in UK shop prices welcomed
Weaker consumer spending and stiff competition saw UK shop prices fall further during August, a new report has revealed.
The BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index showed a 0.4% fall during the month, with non-food items dropping by 1.5%, the fastest rate of decline since June 2018.
Food inflation also eased to 1.6% during August, with the drop in non-food products leaving overall prices in deflationary territory.
Aodhan Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, said falling prices represents good news for shoppers here.
"Shoppers are benefiting from intense competition among retailers which is helping to keep prices on shop shelves down.
"It's welcome news at a time when household finances overall continue to be under strain due to recent rises in domestic and minimum pension contributions," he said.
"The UK Government can help retailers keep shop prices down by securing a lasting tariff-free trade deal with the EU that ensures access to both the EU and GB markets.
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"But we still need Northern Ireland ministers back working to play their part by keeping down the cost of living and taking mission critical decisions such as reform of business rates."
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 unseasonable weather 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. Consumers remain uncertain about when and where to spend but the good news is any inflationary cost pressures that may be building in the food supply chain, have not yet reached shop prices."