Shop price deflation accelerated in March, reaching its deepest level in more than a year.
Prices decreased 1% in March, up from 0.8% in February. Prices have now decreased for 59 consecutive months.
Deflation was driven by the slowdown in food inflation. Food prices increased just 0.4% in March, down significantly from February’s 1.6% rise. The month marked the lowest rate of increase since February 2017.
Fresh food prices increased 0.3% in March compared to 0.9% in February, the slowest rate since March 2017.
Ambient food prices increased just 0.6% in March, down from 2.5% in February, the slowest rate since February 2017.
In non-food, deflation eased a little, with prices decreasing at 1.9%, down from 2.2% in February.
BRC boss Helen Dickinson says: “As the impact of the pound’s depreciation one year on are beginning to fizzle out, retailers are passing the positive impact through to the shopfloor.
“But with further wage increases on the horizon putting upward pressure on prices, consumers will continue to feel the grip on their spending power.”
Nielsen head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins says: “With inflationary pressure receding in the food supply chain, we can now expect supermarkets to focus on lowering prices and to use promotions to drive visits as part of the battle for gaining share of wallet.
“With 27% of the value of the shopping basket being discounted by offers or short-term price cuts – which is a 10-year low – shoppers will take advantage of any increase in discounting as they seek out the best value for money.”