Shop prices up in April as commodity prices rise

EW Payne is asking shoppers to make them an offer for jewellery items in its final days of trading. (Getty)

End of Easter sales and rising costs push price inflation up to 2%.

Rising commodity costs pushed shop prices up in April as non-food shop price inflation rose to 2 percent in April from 1.3 percent in March.

Overall shop price inflation also increased, rising to 2 percent in April from 1.2 percent in March, according to the BRC-Neilson Shop Price Index.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that the rising price of fuel, which it said has risen by up to 70 percent over the past year, nudged non-food prices up as transportation costs had a knock-on effect. It also said that the increase in VAT to 17.5 percent had pushed up year-on-year shop prices.

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Mike Watkins, senior manager of Retailer Services at Neilsen, said that as well as rising costs the spike can be attributed to the end of Easter promotions. He said: “Retailers across all channels continue to rely on promotions, deep discounts and a range of initiatives to drive loyalty and sales as shopper demand remains unpredictable."

While April’s prices showed a significant rise, the overall shop price inflation is still below the rates witnessed in December and January.

BRC director-general Stephen Robertson has forecast that prices will stabilise in the coming months. He said: “The main effects of rising costs and the weak pound have now been felt. With demand still weak, shop prices should be more stable in future months, as long as there are no more big shocks."

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