Food inflation is expected to remain steady in the coming months provided the government negotiates a tariff-free deal with the EU after 31 October, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

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The British Retail Consortium (BRC)-Nielsen Shop Price Index showed that food inflation eased slightly to 1.7% in July, down from 1.8% in June, while ambient food inflation accelerated to 2.4%, up from 2.3% in June.

Fresh food inflation eased slightly to 1.2% from 1.4% in June, with meat the only deflationary element of the category, but non-food prices fell by 1.2%, the same rate of decrease as in June.

Overall shop price deflation was steady at 0.1%, which is below the 12-month and six-month average price increases of 0.3% and 0.4% respectively.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Shop prices fell by 0.1% for the second month in a row. Many consumers will be pleased to see the price of non-food products continuing to fall at a steady rate, underlining the stiff competition between retailers that is driving down prices. Furthermore, food price inflation eased slightly, in part due to the fall in global food prices.

“While we expect food inflation to remain steady over the next few months as retailers work hard to keep prices low, this will depend on whether the UK can navigate an agreement with the EU to ensure frictionless tariff-free trade continues after October 31.”

Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight Mike Watkins said: “With so much economic uncertainty, it’s good news for shoppers that there was no pressure coming from shop price inflation during July. Looking ahead for the next few months, we anticipate broadly stable food inflation and non-food retailers looking to keep any price increase to a minimum, as shoppers continue to be cautious around their retail spend.”