The latest Shop Price Index from the British Retail Consortium shows that shop prince inflation is at its highest level in six-year high, driven largely by non-food prices. 

Non-food prices rose by 0.2 per cent year-on-year in February compared to the January decrease of 0.2 per cent, marking the first time that the non-food category has been inflationary since March 2013.

Meanwhile, food inflation inched up slightly in February to 1.6 per cent, up from 1.5 per cent in January.

Fresh food inflation accelerated to 1.7 per cent in February, up from 1.2 per cent in January, while ambient food inflation eased in February to 1.5 per cent compared to 1.9 per cent in January.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium: 

“For the first time in almost six years the price of non-food goods rose, albeit slowly, as cost pressures which had been building in the supply chain over the past few years fed through into prices. This adds to gradual ongoing rises in food prices, resulting in the highest overall shop price inflation since March 2013.

“While price rises over the last six months have been relatively modest, a no deal Brexit would have a much more immediate and dramatic effect. If this happens, prices of both food and non-food would rise as a result of any new tariffs, the cost impact of any delays at borders, increased administration, and the likely currency depreciation. Parliament must protect British consumers by agreeing a solution that avoids a chaotic no deal Brexit.”

Business growth expert and Yomdel CEO, Andy Soloman, commented:

“The latest hike in the price of goods was inevitable considering the heavy level of discounting that retailers have deployed consistently for almost five years now.

Something had to give and despite existing competition and wavering levels of consumer sentiment, it was only a matter of time before the UK retail sector was forced to play a hand with one eye on our European departure.

These staggered increases should allow retailers to better protect themselves ahead of what is likely to be a shambolic Brexit process – and who can blame them.

We expect, like many areas of the economy, the retail sector will brace for the worst, however, once a greater air of stability returns we should see the price of goods start to fall once again.”


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