Cessation of Sales bumps prices up marginally in run up to Christmas
The annual rate of inflation up to November increased slightly to -0.94, from -1.37 per cent in October, according to the British Retail Consortium. Overall shop prices increased by 1.2 per cent, compared with a decrease 0.38 per cent in October. The prices of non-food items increased for the first time in two months, as Sales for clothing and footwear came to an end. Supply shortages contributed to an increase in prices for some fresh produce and the prices of meat and poultry increased in line with seasonal demand.

BRC director general Kevin Hawkins said: 'Despite the continued pressure on margins due to higher staffing, fuel and energy costs, retailers have managed to keep prices down. Shop prices are lower than at this time last year. The annual high street inflation rate, up only slightly from its exceptionally low level in October, remains in decline for a second month, proving yet again that retail inflation is not a problem for the economy. As retail inflation remains extremely low, there is no justification for a further rise in interest rates.'

The Bank of England has once again stayed its hand and decided not to raise the base interest rate this afternoon. It remains at 4.75 per cent.