Prices fell 4.9% in the clothing and footwear sector during March, according to the British Retail Consortium Nielsen Shop Price Index.
The 4.9% price fall compared with price deflation of 5.3% in February, meaning there was a month-on-month price rise of 0.4% in March.
The British Retail Consoirtum (BRC) said that there had been heavy discounting in the fashion sector to drive sales and promote new spring ranges. In addition it said that retailers were likely to be running down inventories and using lower prices to shift seasonal lines in preparation for summer lines.
The overall Shop Price Index showed inflation of 2% in March, up slightly from its 1.9% level in February.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “The shop price of food is increasing because retailers are paying more for their supplies. The majority of food consumed in the UK is sourced here, but the weak pound is pushing up prices for domestic produce as it becomes more attractive to overseas buyers and it’s increasing the cost of imports. The pound has fallen by around a quarter since summer 2007.”
“The good news for customers is food inflation is lower than its peak last year and non-food goods, such as clothing and electricals, are also still cheaper than they were a year ago.”