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Clothing prices rise after unusually deep January sales

Women’s and kidswear drove an increase in clothing prices during February although they remain down 4.2% on the same time last year.

Accessories, and to a lesser extent, footwear and menswear also reported price rises leading to a 3.8% increase from January, when unusually deep discounting saw prices tumble by 7.7%.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium director general, said: “Non-food is less deflationary than the previous month. This is to be expected after the deep discounting of the post-Christmas sales. But prices in many categories are still down year-on-year.”

Overall shop price inflation rose 1.1% over February from 0.6% in January, while non-food prices fell 0.4% over the month compared with a 1.4%. On a month-on-month basis prices rose 1.4% from a 1.6% fall in January, the largest rise in monthly prices since the series began in January 2006.

Dickinson added: “The overall inflation figure is up, another sign that discounting is less extensive than it was in January.  But it’s still well below the Consumer Price Index of 2.7 per cent - a reflection that, with consumer confidence still weak, retailers continue to do all they can to offer the best possible value. 

“And our February sales figures, which showed the strongest sales growth for three years, suggest that customers are responding well to this.”

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