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Shop price inflation higher in February
Mar '08
Year-on-Year: The BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index for February showed that annual shop price inflation was 1.3% higher, up from 1.2% in January and the highest rate of inflation since the series began.

The increase was driven by food inflation which also accelerated to its highest rate since the beginning of the series, rising to 4.6% compared to a year ago. Non-food deflation continued with prices 0.3% lower in February compared to the previous year, increasing from January's year-on-year rate of -0.2%.

Month-on-Month: On a month-on-month basis, shop prices rose 0.4% in February from January when they had fallen 0.5%. This was mainly driven by inflation in the non-food sector as prices increased by 0.4% this month compared to last after January's month-on-month fall of 1.0%. A slight increase in food prices also contributed to the overall rise with prices up 0.6% in February compared with the previous month.

The BRC's new Director General, Stephen Robertson, said:
“For the fifteenth month in a row non-food prices have been lower than a year ago and there are no signs that this trend is going to change.

Retailers are suffering the effects of some unavoidable rising costs, such as higher global commodity prices, but are doing everything they can to shield their customers from these rises. As people's budgets tighten this year the key word in retail is value and customers will continue to benefit from the intense price competition between retailers.”

Mike Watkins, Senior Manager, Retailer Services, Nielsen comments:
“The increase in food prices in February will come as a stark reminder of the pressure many households are facing from increasing household bills despite the best endeavours of retailers to absorb as much of the increases as possible. Non-food continues to be discounted, thus continuing to keep the overall Shop Price Index close to its December 2005 level.”

British Retail Consortium

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