By Daniel Hunter

The British Retail Consortium has released figures showing that overall shop price inflation was unchanged at 1.5% in December.

Food inflation fell to 4.1% in December from 4.6% in November. Non-food prices were broadly flat in December after falling 0.3% in November.

"Food inflation fell noticeably in December. Past rises in commodity prices are still trickling through the supply chain and wet weather's hitting more crops," Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said.

"But most significantly, global commodity costs have eased in recent months which are helping to reduce food inflation for consumers. Barring any new shocks in the supply chain, I would expect food inflation to stabilise at this sort of level in the short term and we may see it starting to settle to lower levels in the second half of 2013.

"Non-food inflation stayed flat in December, bringing the tally to ten months since the rate went above zero. This is thanks in no small part to electricals, footwear and clothing, popular segments of Christmas retail which continue to show consistent deflation."

Mike Watkins, Senior Manager, Retailer Services, Nielsen said: "There continues to be food price inflation due to currency changes and worldwide harvests affecting ambient foods in particular, and whilst this is feeding through to an increase in shop prices in supermarkets, retailers have become cautious about passing on price increases when demand is weak. The good news is that across both food and non-food, shoppers took advantage of the many seasonal offers in December with retailers offering significant savings for the savvy shopper to help drive sales over Christmas and New Year."

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