UK shop-price inflation rose at its slowest pace in almost two years in January as retailers held down prices for cash-strapped customers, according to new figures published today (8 February).

The latest BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index showed overall shop price inflation fell to 1.4% in January from 1.7% in December. For non-food items, inflation dropped to zero from 0.3% in December.

"These figures show how retailers are holding down prices for customers despite a range of upward pressures," said Stephen Robertson, director general of the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

"Even though retailers are facing higher transport and property costs, overall non-food prices are exactly the same as a year ago. Within that, clothing, furniture and electricals were all cheaper than 12 months ago."

He added: "Further falls in the official rate of inflation, which are expected during the coming months, should be a boost to customers' budgets and, crucially, should help to improve consumer confidence."