LONDON (Reuters) – Shoppers at British store chains have seen the slowest increase in prices in almost a year and a half but retailers might struggle to keep inflation on its downward path, an industry group said on Tuesday.
The British Retail Consortium said annual shop price inflation dropped to 4.3% in the 12 months to November, its weakest since June 2022 and slower than October’s 5.2% rise.
It was the sixth month in a row that the pace of price growth weakened.
Food price inflation fell to 7.8% from 8.8% on the year but rose 0.3% in November from October.
Non-food inflation eased to an annual 2.5% from 3.4%.
BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said there was a risk that the fall in inflation could stall or go into reverse because of rising business rates – a property-based tax – plus new regulations and a jump in the minimum wage.
Britain’s broader official consumer price inflation peaked at 11.1% in October 2022 and was 4.6% in October this year.
The Bank of England has paused its run of interest rate increases after 14 consecutive hikes. But Governor Andrew Bailey and other top officials say it is too early to think about cutting borrowing costs.
(Writing by William Schomberg, editing by Suban Abdulla)