Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium:
“Non-Food deflation reached its lowest rate in more than four years in August as overall Shop Prices edged closer to inflation.
The reality is that with protection from hedging policies coming to an end, Non-Food retailers are running out of options for protecting shoppers from the significant increases in the price of imported goods since the EU referendum in June last year. We expect Non-Food prices to continue trending towards year on year inflation.
Food inflation also moved upward, driven by an acceleration of Ambient Food inflation, although the slowdown in Fresh Food inflation for a second month kept a lid on overall increases in the price of the weekly grocery shop. The seasonal availability of fruit and vegetables from UK suppliers is currently shielding shoppers from the impact of higher import prices. However, as Winter approaches and our dependence shifts to imported goods, that will change.
While the dynamics of individual elements of the index play out in different ways from month to month, the fact is that the overall pressures on prices are still weighted upwards. That will put an increasing strain on already stretched family budgets. Therefore, it is imperative that the Government puts the UK’s households at the top of its agenda as it enters into negotiations on our future trading relationship with the EU. It should do all it can to avoid a situation where further tariffs and administrative costs lead to price increases on top of those already being faced by consumers.”
Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, Nielsen:
"Food inflation continues to be kept in check by lower increases in fresh and seasonal foods and as fresh is typically over 40% of the shopper spend in supermarkets, this is helping to offset the rising cost of living in household bills. Whilst consumer sentiment is on the turn and shoppers are becoming cautious about spending on big ticket items, prices are still very competitive on the high street and spend on food and drink has been strong over the summer, albeit disrupted by the changeable weather in August "