Year-on-year furniture retail prices remained lower in April though the rate slowed for a third successive month, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Consumer prices across furniture and furnishings slipped 0.2 per cent last month, having fallen 0.5 per cent in the year to March and 2.1 per cent in the year to January.

Carpet prices went the other way, deflating 4 per cent in the year to April having fallen just 1.4 per cent in the year to March, the ONS figures showed.

The overall consumer price index slipped into negative territory (-0.1 per cent) for the first time since 1960, from 0.0 per cent in each of February and March.