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As commodity prices rise..

Era of low shop prices ‘coming to an end’

Prince St retail shoppingAn era of low prices in the shops is coming to an end as retailers are forced to pass rising commodity prices on to consumers.

The retail industry’s latest ‘Shop Price Index’ of the 500 most commonly bought products shows prices at tills continued to fall last month.

But this is coming to an end, with price falls at their shallowest rate for three and a half years. Prices will rise as the low pound hikes the price of imported goods, forcing up inflation.

Commenting on the latest data, David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Shoppers continue to benefit from lower prices, however the sustained period of falling shop prices witnessed over the past four years is coming to an end.

“With global food commodity prices up, the exchange rate down, and mushrooming public policy costs a burden, retailers in some categories are now regrettably being forced to pass on some of their input inflation onto customers.”

He said the next UK government can help retailers keep down shop prices by securing a lasting tariff-free trade deal with the EU.

It should also be “getting a firm grip” on the costs under the UK government’s control such as taxes, charges, and regulation.”

Helen Dickinson, chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Prices are undoubtedly on an upward trajectory, which we expect to gradually play out over the course of the year.”

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