According to the British Retail Consortium’s retail index, prices fell for the 13th consecutive month in May - good news for shoppers if not for retailers. Based on a basket of two hundred commonly bought items, shop prices fell 1.1% compared with May 1999.

Said BRC acting director general Mark Bradshaw: "Prices have shown a consistent downward trend for more than a year now. Whilst deflation in the high street is great news for customers, retailers are seeing margins squeezed at the same time as pressure is applied to their operating costs.”

The consortium said that lower prices of produce, particularly the price of tomatoes, led to a slightly greater fall in food prices than non-foods. However, fish prices rose because of supply difficulties.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)