Clothing and footwear prices in UK retail continued their downward trajectory in December, dropping 9.7% on the year before and mirroring the deflation rate in November.

December represented the 20th consecutive month of deflation of overall UK shop prices, although the rate decelerated to 1.7% from 1.9% in November, according to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index.

Meanwhile, non-food deflation also slowed slightly, reaching 2.8% in December, compared to 2.9% in November.

“This is the 20th consecutive month that customers have been able to go to the shops, fill their baskets and pay less for their goods than the year before,” said BRC director general Helen Dickinson.

“This is an incredible run of good fortune for consumers and in the medium term at least looks set to continue.

“A number of key commodities in the retail supply chain (in particular, oil) have fallen dramatically recently and the impact of these falls will continue to make its way through to shop prices for some time to come.”

The BRC pointed out that cotton prices had reached their lowest level since 2009, dropping below 60 cents per pound.

In clothing and footwear, children’s and women’s clothing were more deflationary than average, and deflation in men’s clothing accelerated.

Analyst Shore Capital said of the figures: “Deflation puts pressure on business models to remain price-competitive at the front door and cost-competitive at the back.

“The pressure on the clothing market, impeded by a very warm early autumn/winter season, is well documented.”