Overall shop prices (SPI) reported deflation for the twelfth consecutive month in April, decelerating to 1.4 per cent from 1.7 per cent in March.
But the deceleration in the overall SPI figure broke the four month declining trend.
Food inflation slowed to 0.7 per cent from 0.8 per cent in March – the lowest level since the inception of the Monitor in December 2006, while non-food reported annual decelerated deflation of 2.7 per cent in April from 3.2 per cent in March.
The big four supermarkets have cut the prices of staple products in a bid to maintain market share in wake of pressure of discounters Aldi and Lidl.
Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said retailers would continue to respond to cost conscious consumers by keeping prices down.
“Customers benefitted from prices and promotions in their local supermarket as they stocked up for the Easter holidays. After a rise at the beginning of the year a more positive outlook for commodity prices should mean prices remain stable in the coming months.
‘‘With food retailers continuing to keep prices down and stable commodity prices ahead, customers will benefit for the foreseeable future”.
Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, Nielsen, said: ‘‘Over the last 6 months we have seen shop prices falling and in recent weeks stabilising, whilst Consumer confidence is slowly improving, shoppers remain cautious. So retailers are holding back on price increases wherever possible.
“With the escalation of price cutting by the major Supermarkets impacting shopping baskets over the next few weeks, we can anticipate any external pressures on food inflation to be held in check for the time being”