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Grocery inflation hits lowest level in two years, but non-food items keep rising

British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) latest reading showed food inflation also slowed to 5.0 per cent this month, down from 6.1 per cent in January and is the lowest since May 2022.
British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) latest reading showed food inflation also slowed to 5.0 per cent this month, down from 6.1 per cent in January and is the lowest since May 2022.

Shop price inflation or the rate at which these goods increase has slowed to 2.5 per cent in February, marking the lowest level recorded in close to two years.

British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) latest reading showed food inflation also slowed to 5.0 per cent this month, down from 6.1 per cent in January and is the lowest since May 2022.

Rising costs of fruits, vegetables and other fresh food grew to 3.4 per cent down from 4.9 per cent the prior month. Inflation in this category is the lowest since February 2022.

This month’s decline does not mean food prices are decreasing, just the rate at which they are rising has slowed.

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Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “There was good news for consumers as shop price inflation fell to its lowest rate in nearly two years. Food prices fell month-on-month with drops in fresh food including meat, fish and fruit.

“This was driven by easing input costs for energy and fertiliser while retailers competed fiercely to keep prices down.”

However, non-food items such as electrical furniture, and health & beauty products rose, but the price of clothing continued to fall as many retailers kept promotions in place to entice consumer spending.

Non-Food inflation was unchanged at 1.3 per cent in February.

Soaring food and energy bills have been the source of unusually high inflation in the UK. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two years ago also led to a limited supply of gas. 

Inflation is now at four per cent in Britain, which is above the Bank of England’s target of two per cent.

Dickinson added: “Easing supply chain pressures have begun to feed through to food prices, but significant uncertainties remain as geopolitical tensions rise.

“Prices of non-food goods will be more susceptible to shipping costs, which have risen due to the re-routing of imports around the Cape of Good Hope.”

“Domestically, retailers face a major rise to their business rates bills in April, determined by last September’s sky-high inflation rate.”