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Friday, 3 March, 2000, 02:24 GMT
High street prices continue to fall
shoes for sale
Prices continue to fall even after the sales season
High street prices are continuing to fall, a new report shows.

Prices were 0.3% lower in February than they were a year ago, according to a monthly report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

This is the tenth month in a row that prices have fallen on an annual basis.

However, prices were 0.9% higher in February than in January, the report found.

This monthly rise in prices is said to be typical of the end-of-sale season, when retailers put prices back up again.

Mark Bradshaw, BRC acting director general, said: "Although the January sales have ended, prices still remain lower than a year ago.

"The high street continues to offer customers excellent value for money."

Non-food items were once again at full price while the cost of potatoes and bacon also rose, the report found.

No threat to inflation

The figures can be taken as evidence that the Bank of England monetary policy committee (MPC) does not need to raise interest rates to combat inflation.

The MPC next meets on 8 and 9 March to discuss whether to change the level of UK interest rates.

Last month, the committee raised interest rates by 0.25% to 6%, amidst fears that rising house prices and growing consumer confidence could signal inflation.

The BRC shop price index compares a basket of 200 commonly bought items.

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See also:

17 Feb 00 |  Business
Huge surge in retail sales
15 Feb 00 |  Business
UK inflation eases
10 Feb 00 |  Business
UK interest rates up 0.25%
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