Shop price inflation growth has slowed to 1.3 per cent in May, from 1.4 per cent in April.

Annual food price inflation has also slowed, from 6.4 per cent last month compared with 7.9 per cent in April. It is the lowest food inflation recorded this year, driven by the biggest fall in fresh food inflation since the British Retail Consortium-Nielsen Shop Price Index began in December 2006.

Non-food prices were 1.3 per cent lower than a year ago in May, compared with 1.9 per cent lower in April.

British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: “Food inflation has been falling since March, suggesting that the worst food price rises are behind us. Significant falls in the cost of commodities, such as oil, and the pound’s recent stabilisation have helped ease inflationary pressures.

“Big discounts and lower VAT mean non-food goods are cheaper than a year ago for the sixth consecutive month with prices for electricals and clothing dropping most.

“As a result, overall shop price inflation has fallen for the second consecutive month.”