UK shop prices fall for seventh month running: BRC/Nielsen

LONDON (Reuters) – British shop prices fell in December the seventh month running as retailers ramped up discounts to attract shoppers in the run-up to Christmas, an industry survey showed on Friday.

Store prices measured between Dec. 2 and Dec. 6 were 0.4% lower than a year earlier, after a 0.5% annual drop in early November, according to the British Retail Consortium and market research company Nielsen.

“The competition for the discretionary spend of shoppers intensified in December and discounts were deeper and began earlier … due to weak consumer demand,” Mike Watkins, head of retailer and insight Nielsen, said.

Supermarkets faced with weak growth in sales volumes reduced prices in the run-up to Christmas to give a short-term boost, he added.

Britain’s official measure of consumer price inflation, which covers a wider range of goods and services, held at 1.5% in November, its joint-lowest rate since November 2016.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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