Clothing and footwear price deflation accelerated to 6.9% in February

Clothing and footwear price deflation accelerated to 6.9% in February

UK clothing and footwear prices fell in February at their fastest pace since April last year, with many categories reporting an acceleration in their deflation rates. 

According to the monthly BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index, clothing and footwear price deflation accelerated to 6.9% from the 6.4% fall in January. This is the largest decline since April 2015 when deflation was 7.2%, and is the sixth consecutive month that deflation has been in line with, or above, 6%. 

Downward pressure was exerted by footwear, men's and women's clothing and babywear, all of which reported an acceleration in their deflation rates. 

Deflation in the children's category remained well below the overall clothing rate, although saw a slight deceleration in its deflation rate.

On a month-on-month basis, clothing and footwear prices edged down 0.3% in February from January's 2.1% fall. 

Overall, shop prices reported deflation of 2% in February from 1.8% in January, marking the 34th consecutive month of price drops. 

"Within non-food, clothing, footwear, electricals, DIY, and books all saw large reductions in prices while the move back into deflationary territory in the food category confirmed that last month's marginal rise was just a blip," said BRC director general Helen Dickinson.

"With consumer confidence falling back and wage growth remaining subdued, retailers continue to support their customers with prices and promotions to maintain market share in the tough trading environment." 

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, added: "With uncertain market conditions, offers and discounts are likely to continue for the time being."