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Published on August 28th, 2019 | by The GC Team

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Weak consumer spending keeps retail prices down

The British Retail Consortium today said weak consumer spending and stiff competition kept shop prices down in August.

Overall prices dropped by 0.4% compared to a 0.1% decrease in July, with non-food falling 1.5% compared to a 1.2% decrease last month.

Food inflation eased slightly to 1.6% in August from 1.7% in July.

Out of the seven non-food categories, three were deflationary. “Weak consumer spend and intense competition kept price increases well at bay, with many retailers using discounts, especially for basic items,” the BRC said.

Prices for five categories – Electricals, DIY, Furniture, Clothing and Other Non-Food – were below those of August 2015.

“Consumers were the real winners this month,” said BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson.

“Weak consumer spending and stiff competition has kept prices down in the UK. However, a disruptive no-deal Brexit which would raise the cost of imported goods could reverse this trend.”

In the interests of both consumers and retailers, Dickinson urged the Government to redouble its efforts to find a workable agreement with the EU that would avoid a no-deal scenario.

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