Shop price inflation ‘normalising’ one year on from peak, figures show

Shop price inflation is showing signs of normalising one year on from its peak in long-awaited relief for households, new figures show.

Prices in April were 0.8% higher than a year earlier, the lowest growth since December 2021, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-NielsenIQ Shop Price Index.

The figure is down from 1.3% in March and below the three-month average of 1.4%.

Products other than food actually entered deflation, at 0.6% lower than a year earlier, down from 0.2% inflation a month earlier, as clothing and footwear prices in particular fell where retailers ramped up promotions to encourage consumer spending.

Food inflation slowed to 3.4%, its lowest growth since March 2022 and the 12th consecutive drop.

Fresh food inflation slowed further, to 2.4% from 2.6% in March, driven by butter, fish and fruit prices continuing to fall due to easing input costs and intense competition between grocers.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “While consumers will welcome the lower shop price inflation, geopolitical tensions and the knock-on impact on commodity prices, like oil, pose a threat to future price stability.

“Retailers will continue to do all they can to keep prices down, but Government has a role to play with pro-growth policies that allow businesses to invest in the customer offer.”

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at NielsenIQ, said: “Whilst topline retail growth has slowed in recent weeks as food inflation has fallen, it is good news for shoppers that the cost of their grocery shop is starting to stabilise and that the prices of many non-food goods are now cheaper than a year ago.

“To help shoppers manage household budgets, retailers continue to promote and this provides further savings and we expect this to continue to help drive overall demand.”