Year-on-year retail prices were lower for a 28th consecutive month but unchanged in August, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Its BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index recorded a 1.4 per cent fall last month, the same figure as July, though there was a difference between food and non-food goods.

Food prices were 0.2 per cent up, and increase on the 0.1 per cent figure for the year to July, while non-food price deflation widened to 2.4 per cent, from 2.3 per cent a month earlier.

Furniture prices were 1.2 per cent lower in August, according to the BRC, suggesting official figures will reveal a seventh consecutive flat or negative figure when they are released by the Office for National Statistics next Tuesday.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “August marked the 28th month of falling non-food prices. Clothing retailers discounted heavily in an attempt to shift stock [while] furniture and flooring saw a sharp deceleration in deflation.

“Great deals could be found in Books, Stationery and Home Entertainment. Prices throughout this category fell on average by 5.2 per cent.”