Shop Prices fell by 2.4% in May compared to a 1.7% decrease in April, a shift below the 12 and 6-month average price decreases of 0.7% and 1.0%, respectively.
This is the highest rate of decline since the series began in December 2006.
Non-Food prices fell sharply by 4.6% in May compared to a decline of 3.7% in April, also below the 12 and 6-month average price declines of 1.9% and 2.4%, respectively. T
Commenting, Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Shop prices in May fell at their fastest rate since 2006, which was largely driven by the drop in non-food prices. Clothing and Furniture saw the biggest drop as retailers ran promotions to encourage consumer spending and attempted to mitigate recent losses.
“Year-on-year food prices increased slightly due to higher business costs, implementing social distancing measures and the upward pressure from labour shortages, but were down on the previous month as more home-grown produce became available. We expect to see continued upward pressure on food prices from the effects of the pandemic in the coming months, while non-food prices are likely to remain deflationary with subdued sales.”
Adding: “Even as non-essential shops begin to reopen from 15 June, consumer demand is expected to remain weak and many retailers will have to fight to survive, especially with the added costs of social distancing measures.
“Retailers face an uphill battle to continue to provide their customers with high quality and great value products despite mounting costs. Government support remains essential, both to rebuild consumer confidence and to support the thousands of firms and millions of jobs that rely on it.”