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>> Shop prices increased slightly this month; IN BRIEF.

SHOP prices increased slightly in February to reach the highest inflation rate in six years as retailers found themselves stuck between costs and cautious consumer spending, figures show.

Shop prices were 0.7% higher in February than the same time last year, up from 0.4% in January - the highest inflation rate since March 2013, according to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index. The rise was driven by non-food prices increasing for the first time in six years, by 0.2% year-on-year in February compared with a January decrease of minus 0.2%.

Food inflation inched up slightly to 1.6% from January's 1.5%, but fresh food prices were 1.7% higher than a year ago, up from 1.2% in January.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the increase in non-food prices reflected the slow release of significant cost pressures which had built up in the supply chain over the last two years, notably from the currency depreciation in 2016 and the rise in oil prices last year. However, non-food prices remain below 2016 levels, with the BRC noting that heavy discounting would return given weak discretionary spending and intense competition.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Feb 27, 2019
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