Clothing drives down UK retail prices in December
Men's clothing reported an acceleration in its deflation rate
UK clothing and footwear prices continued on their downward trajectory in December, accelerating year-on-year and driving down overall retail prices.
According to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, clothing and footwear price deflation steepened to 6.4% from a 6.3% decline in November.
By segment, children's, women's and men's clothing reported an acceleration in their deflation rates, while clothing accessories remained above the overall category deflation rate, albeit at a lower rate than in October. Babywear returned to inflationary territory after four months in negative territory.
On a month-on-month basis, clothing and footwear prices fell 0.4% from the 0.1% drop in November.
Overall shop prices reported deflation of 2% in December from the 2.1% decline seen in November.
"With retailers continuing to invest in price, relatively low commodity prices and intense competition a hallmark of the industry, we can expect falling prices to continue in the medium term," said BRC director general Helen Dickinson.
Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, noted: "We can expect the current levels of deflation across the retail industry to continue for the first half of 2016."
He added: "After the unseasonably mild autumn and early winter, many non-food retailers will use price cuts and targeted promotions early in the year, to help sell through and to benefit from any rise in real wages."
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