High Street prices fall at slower pace

Prices in British high street stores fell at a slower pace last month as consumer sentiment strengthened, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said.

The BRC said that its shop price index dropped by 1.3 per cent in June, the smallest decline since January, after a 1.9 per cent drop in May.

Helen Dickinson, BRC director general, said: “Consumer spending, one of the main drivers of the recovery, should remain robust over the summer.”

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Britain’s broader official measure of inflation, the consumer prices index, showed its first year-on-year fall in prices in more than 50 years in April, before rising back above zero in May.

The Bank of England expects the CPI to start rebounding rapidly towards its 2 per cent target later this year as the steep fall in oil prices in late 2014 drops out of year-on-year comparisons.

The BRC said it expected that low inflation, combined with rising wages and consumer lending, would help ensure demand remained robust over the coming months.