U.K. food inflation falls to 3.5% in June from 4.3% in May; overall shop price inflation drops to 1.1% in June from 1.5% in May: British Retail Consortium

LONDON , July 4, 2012 (press release) – Overall shop price inflation slowed to 1.1% from 1.5% in May. Food inflation fell to 3.5% in June from 4.3% in May. Deflation in non-food accelerated to 0.3% from 0.1% in May.

Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said:

"Overall shop price inflation is at its lowest for two and a half years. This is good news all round for hard-pressed customers and shows retailers holding back prices as commodity cost pressures ease.

"Crude oil prices are down a quarter on three months ago with food commodities, such as coffee and sugar, falling sharply over the same period. In a highly competitive market, retailers are rushing to reflect those drops in good deals for customers. At the same time, weak consumer demand continues to drive deep and heavily targeted discounting, particularly among non-food goods.

"Food inflation is at its lowest for nearly two years and the price of non-food goods is down on a year ago for the fifth consecutive month.

"With real disposable incomes still dropping, let's hope there's more downward pressure to come from past falls in commodity prices working through to inflation."

Mike Watkins, Senior Manager, Retailer Services, Nielsen said:

"Prices continue to fall across retail stores which will be welcome news for the many households needing to make savings on household bills and bigger ticket items in particular. However, it's double-edged for food retailers where demand remains weak. The unpredictable summer weather has dampened recent growth but, with the summer of events underway, the fall in inflation should give a boost to shopper spend."

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