November shop price deflation eased to 0.3% from 0.5% in October, recording the seventh consecutive month of inflation.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Nielsen Shop Price Index, it is good news for consumers in the the run up to Christmas.

The data showed food inflation slowed to 2.3% in November from 2.7% in October, its second-lowest level since June 2010. This was pushed down by promotions across fresh produce as customers start stocking up on seasonal goods.

Non-food deflation slowed to 2% against 2.4% in October. Non-food been deflationary since March as a result of promotions in fashion -  where deflation has been above 10% for two consecutive months - furniture and electricals.

Upward pressure came from books, stationery and the home entertainment category, which returned to  inflation, while the health and beauty and DIY, gardening and hardware categories reported a slight rise in their inflation rates.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said that with Christmas just three weeks away the deflation is “great news for hard-pressed households”. She added: “There are some encouraging signs in here for anyone starting to make some headway on their Christmas lists.”

But Nielsen head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said Christmas trading has been slow to start across most of the retailers.

He added: “The good news for consumers is that inflationary pressures are less prevalent this year than in previous years. So with sales momentum now starting to build, we anticipate some good festive deals for the savvy Christmas shopper.”

The index said that shop prices are expected to remain “fairly stable” in the medium term, barring any long-term shocks.