Non-food retail inflation rose by 1.3% in the UK in June, up from 0.8% in May, but clothing and footwear prices are down on last year as discounts continue to drive sales.

Overall shop price inflation increased to 2.9% in June from 2.3% in May, according to the British Retail Consortium-Nielsen Shop Price Index, with food price inflation accelerating to 5.7% from 4.9% in May.

“Considering January’s VAT rise, non-food inflation is still very low,” said BRC director general Stephen Robertson. “The latest bout of retail administrations shows how weak consumer spending is.

“Retailers are using discounts to generate sales at the expense of margins. Sales have started earlier this year, especially in clothing and footwear, where prices are actually cheaper than a year ago.”

Robertson pointed out that shop price inflation was being driven by rising commodity prices, the weak pound and higher VAT, but retailers were pressurised by real disposable incomes enduring their greatest falls for 34 years.