March 2, 2016 / 7:27 AM / a year ago

British shop prices fall more sharply in February

LONDON (Reuters) - British shop prices fell more sharply last month than in January as retailers resorted to deeper discounts to attract wary shoppers, the British Retail Consortium said on Wednesday.

    The BRC said shop prices eased by 2 percent over the 12 months to February, the 34th consecutive month of deflation. Prices in January fell 1.8 percent.

    Non-food prices fell 3 percent year-on-year for the third consecutive month while food prices were down 0.4 percent after rising 0.1 percent in January.

    "With consumer confidence falling back and wage growth remaining subdued, retailers continue to support their customers with prices and promotions to maintain market share in the tough trading environment," BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

    Britain has been among the fastest-growing advanced economies in recent years but lost some of its momentum in the second half of 2015 as the world economy slowed.

    Even though consumers are still benefiting from record low interest rates and next to no inflation, analysts worry they could be affected by the weaker outlook for the world economy, a possible British exit from the European Union and sluggish wage growth.

(Reporting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; editing by William Schomberg)

ana.dacosta@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 7748

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