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Shop price inflation rises in May

Shop price inflation has increased to 1.5% in May from 1.3% in April as inflation and deflation levels remained relatively flat in the period, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) – Nielsen Shop Price Index.

Deflation in non-food slowed to 0.1% in May from 0.5% in April as retailers struggled to continue discounting.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: For the fourth month in a row non-food goods are cheaper than they were a year ago, chiefly thanks to price cutting on clothing, footwear and electricals.

“But some prices are moving upwards as retailers struggle to maintain the margin-sapping discounts which reached unsustainable levels in the face of weak consumer spending.  That’s seen overall shop price inflation edge up slightly.”

Clothing and footwear deflation slowed to 5% in May from 5.4% in April – the lowest rate in four months. This was driven by lower deflation in men’s and children’s clothing. Deflation across women’s clothing also slowed but to a lesser extent.

Nielsen senior manager of retailer services Mike Watkins said: “With the summer of events and celebration now under way, and after a couple of months of weak sales, marketing programmes and promotions have been ramped up by retailers.”

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