Shop prices continued to fall in January, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), continuing the trend seen throughout much of 2015.

Prices dropped 1.8% at the start of 2016, marginally better than the 2% fall seen in December, marking the 33rd consecutive month of falling shop prices.

There was some slightly more positive news for supermarkets. Having seen prices fall throughout 2015 as a result of the supermarket price war, food prices rose 0.1% in January - the first growth since August.

But non-food retailers continued to see prices drop considerably at 3%, following the same rate of deflation in December. The BRC said clothing, footwear, books, DIY, stationery and home entertainment were the biggest contributors to the decline.

On the small rise in food prices, BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson, said: "We will have to wait for next month’s figures to see whether this is a one-off blip or whether after a sustained period of price falls food prices are beginning to stabilise."

She added: “Higher levels of consumer confidence are currently translating into other parts of consumer spending – in leisure, entertainment and eating out - rather than into shopping which is providing the backdrop to a tough trading environment for retailers but great news for shoppers.”

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, which co-conducted the survey alongside the BRC, said: "Sales momentum in January has been slow for some retailers with shoppers seeking out the best prices online and in-store, and this competition is helping keep non-food shop prices lower than a year ago. Many seasonal lines have also come off promotion which will have moved food prices upwards a little, but there is still no general upward pressure on prices, despite recent currency appreciations. Looking ahead, we expect overall shop price deflation to remain broadly unchanged for the next few months."