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UK shop prices slide again in December: BRC

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People walk along Oxford Street as shops remain closed under Tier 4 restrictions, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British shop prices dropped sharply in early December as non-food stores offered big discounts in the run-up to the Christmas trading period, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) trade body said shop prices fell 1.8% in annual terms last month, matching November's rate of decrease and a bigger fall than has been typical over the past 12 months.

"As in November, non-food prices dropped, and retail firms who have been hardest hit by the pandemic this year, such as fashion outlets, are continuing to offer discounts," BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

Food price inflation fell to its lowest since March 2018 at 0.4%, reflecting a drop in global food prices filtering through to British shelves, Dickinson added.

Prices were collected between Dec. 1 and Dec. 7.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)