LONDON May 3 Prices in British shops showed the
smallest annual decline in nearly three-and-a-half years last
month, adding to signs of growing inflation pressure after the
Brexit vote caused a fall in the value of the pound, a survey
showed on Wednesday.
Overall shop prices fell 0.5 percent after a 0.8 percent
decline in March, the shallowest rate of deflation since
November 2013, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said.
"The rate of deflation has been decelerating month-on month
as retailers battle with inflationary pressures resulting from
the impact of the weaker pound on input prices," Helen
Dickinson, BRC chief executive.
"Prices are undoubtedly on an upward trajectory, which we
expect to gradually play out over the course of the year."
Food prices rose 0.9 percent in the year to April, the BRC
said, slowing marginally from March.
Inflation hurts the poorest in particular because rising
prices for essentials like food and transport take up a bigger
share of their disposable income.
Bank of England policymakers, who meet next week to set
interest rates, are monitoring gauges of inflation closely. Some
officials are uneasy about how much inflation might overshoot
the central bank's 2 percent target. Many private economists say
the consumer price index will rise above 3 percent this year.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by William Schomberg)