Food inflation has slowed to 4.3% for April – from 5.4% in the previous month – according to the latest statistics from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
The statistics also revealed shop price inflation had dropped by 1.3% last month, compared to 1.5% in March.
Stephen Robertson, director general at the BRC, said: “After the announcement last month of an official return to recession, these figures give customers some reasons to be cheerful. Fuel, utilities and even stamps are much more expensive than they were, but retailers are holding back or actually cutting prices. Food inflation dropped to where it was before March’s sudden rise and non-food goods have now been cheaper than a year ago for three months in a row.
“This time last year, rocketing animal feed and ingredients costs were driving food prices up sharply. Now, easing world prices for commodities such as wheat and sugar are working through to the shops. Dairy products, margarine and fish are among the foods seeing much lower inflation than last year.”
But Robertson said that where food prices go next “was hard to predict”. “Competition will remain intense in the face of weak demand from customers but some commodity price rises – soyabean and corn – are in the pipeline,” he said.