Food inflation in August hit 3.8%, its highest level for a year, according to the BRC.

Overall inflation was 1.7% in August, compared with 1.5% in July, with non-food inflation falling from 1% in July to 0.5% in August. But food price inflation leapt from 2.5% in July to reach its highest level since July 2009.

The BRC attributed the food price rises to the increasing cost of commodities such as wheat and sugar. “We are nowhere near the return of the double digit food inflation of two years ago,” said director general Stephen Robertson, who he pointed out that retailers are responding with more deals, with a third of sales on promotion and prices of staple products like milk and bread being particularly competitve.

The slowing in non-food inflation was driven by 2.6% deflation in clothing prices compared with last year, driven by widespread discounting in footwear and clearance of Summer collections. Electricals also saw deflation, but overall non-food prices rose thanks to inflation in the DIY and health and beauty markets.