Clothing and footwear prices fell 6.8% year on year and 2.2% month on month in January, according to data from the British Retail Consortium.
All clothing and footwear sub-categories experienced a deceleration in their deflation rates during the month, particularly in kids’, babies and men’s clothing.
Overall shop prices fell for the 21st consecutive month, down 1.3% year on year and 0.5% on the previous month. Food prices fell by the steepest amount on record, down 0.5% year on year.
However, BRC director general Helen Dickinson pointed out that the cost of raw materials was also in decline. “Deflation doesn’t always translate into bad news for retailers. The Producers Price Index (which tracks the cost of raw materials to producers) remains deflationary, so retail businesses will continue to see decreases in their own input costs for the foreseeable future.
“With the outlook for inflation low, the jobs market robust and rising real incomes gathering pace, the outlook for consumer spending looks positive.”
She added that there was some evidence that heavy discounting in early December resulted in some retailers pulling their new season stock forward, which meant a “significant amount of goods” were sold at full price in January.