BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index reports second month of price inflation

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Shop prices increased on the previous year for the second consecutive month, according to the latest results from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Nielsen.

Shop prices inched up 0.2 per cent in September from 0.1 per cent in August, with non-food deflation easing to 0.9 per cent from 1.0 per cent the month before.

Food inflation remained flat at 1.9 per cent while fresh food rose to 1.6 per cent in September from 1.5 per cent in August.

Ambient food inflation dropped in pace to 2.4 per cent in September after reaching 2.5 per cent in August.

“Overall shop prices were inflationary for the second month in a row in August, the first time in five years that prices have risen in two consecutive months,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.

“Global commodity conditions, in particular oil prices, would indicate that there are likely to be further inflationary pressures in the short to medium term which could lead to further price rises.”

The BRC also used the results to implore the government to act on measures to protect grocers and consumers from the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

“This would be worrying enough for hard-pressed British consumers if we weren’t staring down the barrel of a “no-deal” Brexit. Food prices alone have now been inflationary for more than a year and the BRC estimates that consumers could face up to a 29% increase in prices of products such as beef in the event of a “no-deal,” said Dickinson.

“Time is running out for the government to deliver a Brexit deal with a workable backstop arrangement and a clear transition period. This is not good news for UK shoppers who out of all the stakeholders in the Brexit process ultimately have the most to lose,” she added.

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