Shoppers hit hard by inflation

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Shop prices rose in December, piling more pressure on hard-pressed consumers. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Nielsen survey said overall shop price inflation rose to 2.1 per cent in December, up from 2 per cent the previous month.

While food price inflation remained unchanged at 4 per cent, the spike was driven by a 0.2 per cent rise in non-food inflation to 1.1 per cent in December. This was down to floor-covering retailers jacking up their prices. Stephen Robertson, of the BRC, said: "Retailers are protecting consumers from the full force of global commodity-cost increases, with unprecedented levels of discounting."