Shop prices fell by -0.5% in November, compared to a -0.4% decrease in October. Of that, non-food prices fell by -1.6%.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, which compiles the monthly Shop Price Index with Nielsen, comments: “Shop prices continued to fall in November for the sixth consecutive month. This was driven, in part, by an easing of inflation for fresh food due to a strong crop yield for fresh fruits in the UK, and a fall in the global price of dairy. Furthermore, non-food prices fell well below the 12-month average. The economic and political uncertainty has weakened demand for non-essential items. As a result, retailers have pushed for even deeper price cuts to encourage consumers to open their wallets.
“While consumers will welcome the fall in prices in the run-up to Christmas, there are various factors which could push food prices up in the longer term. These include the impact of flooding on the yields of many root vegetables and the rising global prices of meat. However, the biggest threat to future prices remains the risk of a chaotic no-deal Brexit pushing up the costs of EU imports, which account for 30% of the food we consume. The next Government should aim to provide clarity on the UK’s future relationship with the EU as soon as possible.”
Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight, Nielsen: "With fragile consumer confidence, retailers are keeping price increases to a minimum to encourage consumers to spend and there is little inflationary pressure coming from the high street. With Black Friday discounts and promotions already giving shoppers further savings, any new pricing initiatives to drive demand in the final weeks up to Christmas will need to be balanced to protect margins.”