// Shop prices fall for the 13th month in row in June as coronavirus hammers sales, says latest Shop Price Index
// Overall shop prices fell by 1.6% in June compared to a decrease of 2.4% in May
// Non-food prices fell 3.4% and food price inflation was steady at 1.5%
Shop prices in June fell for a 13th consecutive month as retailers continued to discount items in a bid to shift excess stock amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the latest BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, overall prices fell by 1.6 per cent in June compared to a decrease of 2.4 per cent in May.
This was below the 12 and six-month average price decreases of 0.8 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively.
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Prices across non-food items fell by 3.4 per cent in June compared to a decline of 4.6 per cent in May, below the 12 and six-month average price declines of 2.2 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.
Food inflation was steady at 1.5 per cent in June, the same rate of increase as in May and in line with the 12 and six-month average price increases of 1.5 per cent.
Fresh food inflation was steady at 0.5 per cent in June, the same rate of increase as in May, while ambient food inflation was steady at 2.9 per cent in June, also the same rate of increase as in May.
“Consumers have benefited as shop prices have fallen for the 13th consecutive month, however the situation for many retailers, such as those in clothing and footwear, remains very challenging,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
“Sales have dropped significantly since mid-March and two thirds of businesses are reporting turnover below pre-crisis levels, meaning there is a serious risk to jobs as a result.
“The government should focus on stimulating demand in the economy and restoring consumer confidence.
“Coronavirus has been a huge shock to the retail industry and coming on top of this, the threat of the UK leaving the EU without a trade deal is a real concern as it would lead to severe disruptions to supply chains, far beyond those experienced during lockdown, resulting in higher prices and reduced availability in shops.
“It is imperative that government secures a deal with the EU or hard-pressed consumers will bear the cost.”