Shop prices fell at their fastest rate for at least seven years last month as high street shops and supermarkets resorted to aggressive discounting to boost festive sales.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) hailed a “double whammy of good news for cash-conscious customers” after overall shop prices fell by 0.8%, dropping for the eighth consecutive month and at the fastest pace since its survey began in December 2006.
Households were offered some welcome respite as food price inflation slowed to its lowest level for more than three years - at 1.7% - while widespread discounting in the wider retail sector saw non-food prices fall by 2.3%, according to the figures from the BRC and Nielsen.
Mike Watkins, head of retail and business insight at survey partner Nielsen, said: “This will have brought a festive cheer to shoppers filling their trolleys with food and drink at supermarkets, especially as Christmas fell later this year. With the continuation of price cuts and promotions across all of retailing, and with many shoppers holding back on shopping to the last week, there will have been bargains and some great savings for the savvy Christmas shopper.”