Shop price inflation was unchanged month-on-month in September, when the overall rate remained 2.7%.

Food inflation of 5% was also the same as in August, while the non-food rate was slightly down at 1.3%, the BRC-Nielsen  Shop Price Index showed.

BRC director-general Stephen Robertson said while the pressure on prices from commodities and other factors have not gone away, they have not got any worse and the inflation rate remains below the official measurement, the Consumer Prices Index.

He said:“The Bank of England expects CPI to go on rising but that’s due to things like utilities, petrol and insurance not shop prices.

“In fact some goods – clothing and electricals – continue to be cheaper than a year ago as retailers discount aggressively to produce sales and stay in business.

“Fundamental conditions are unlikely to change much this side of Christmas but next month we’ll see what effect the supermarket price war - based on straight price-cuts rather than other forms of promotion – is having on food inflation.”

Nielsen senior manager, retailer services, Mike Watkins said: While food prices remain 5% higher than a year ago, it looks as if the peak of 2011 will be a lot lower that than the high of over 8% at the start of the economic downturn three years ago.

“Shoppers continue to get further savings from promotions and price discounts at the checkout, which in turn is bringing down the cost of the shopping trip.”