Prices in UK shops fall more slowly in October – BRC

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Prices in British shops fell more slowly this month than in September, reflecting the smallest discounting for non-food items since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, figures from the British Retail Consortium showed on Wednesday.

The BRC said its shop price index showed a 1.2% annual fall in prices in October compared with a 1.6% drop in September

Food prices rose by an annual 1.2% in both months, but the fall in non-food prices slowed to 2.7% from September’s 3.2%.

Official data showed purchases of non-food items exceed pre-pandemic levels last month, but BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said she expected the squeeze on many retailers’ profit margins to continue.

“Given the wider economic context, with stricter restrictions and a possible rise in unemployment, we are likely to see continuing discounts in non-food for months to come,” she said.

The BRC also warned prices would rise if Britain failed to secure a zero-tariff trade agreement with the European Union before post-Brexit transition arrangements expire at the end of this year.

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