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Deflation slows in November as pressure on margins eases

Clothing and footwear prices continued to decrease in November yet at a slower rate, figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) released today reveal.

The findings are part of the BRC’s Shop Price Index survey, which monitors all UK retail prices. The figures reveal that despite rising prices in the food sector, which were 2.3% higher in November than the same period last year, overall retail prices continued to be lower than in 2012, with seven consecutive months of annual deflation now recorded.

In November, deflation in the clothing and footwear category slowed to 10.1% from 10.7% in October.

Despite the 0.5% slowdown in deflation last month, prices in clothing and footwear were still 10.1% lower than in the same period last year. This was significantly lower than in any other sector of retail, partly, the BRC said, due to continued pressures on fashion retailers’ margins.

Within fashion, accessories and babywear saw accelerating deflation, with all other categories showing increasing prices in November.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “The seventh consecutive month of deflation is great news for hard-pressed households as Christmas gets closer, and confirms that retailers are reading current conditions well and matching the mood in their promotions and product offers.

“Non-food has been deflationary since March, and November continued the trend, mainly fuelled by promotions in fashion, furniture and electricals. In areas where deflation slowed, it was mainly due to a natural levelling off of some of the early-bird Christmas offers”.

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