Shop prices fell for a 27th consecutive month driven by a sharper fall in the price of non-food goods and furniture in particular, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Its BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index recorded a 1.4 per cent drop in overall retail prices last month, widening from 1.3 per cent in the year to June.

The trade association said, however, that year-on-year food prices had risen for the first time in seven months, inching up 0.1 per cent in July having fallen 0.4 per cent in the year to June.

That left non-food merchandise responsible for the overall widening in the rate of deflation, going from 1.9 per cent in June to 2.3 per cent last month.

Furniture was among the main drivers, with prices 2.7 per cent lower in July compared to the same month last year. Official ONS price data is due later this month, on 18th August.

BRC director-general Helen Dickinson said: “Clothing retailers were keen to shift their summer stock with widespread discounts. Furniture and flooring saw a sharp acceleration in deflation as retailers attempted to capitalise on stronger levels of demand in this category from renewed strength in the housing market."