There is little sign of a post-Brexit inflation spike as supermarket appear to have avoided passing on any extra costs incurred importing goods into the UK so far this year.
The Grocer Price Index, which tracks more than 61,000 individual SKUs collated by Edge by Ascential, found overall supermarket prices were marginally cheaper in January than they were a year ago.
The overall GPI, which includes the big four, saw average prices fall 0.1% across January. It marked a reduction from the 0.4% inflation seen in December, though November had recorded deflation of 0.8%.
Three of the big four were in annual price deflation during the month, with Asda prices were down 0.3%, while Sainsbury’s and Morrisons were just below flat. Tesco was the only grocer to record annual inflation, but this was only 0.04% and marked a sharp downturn on the 1.5% inflation it recorded in December.
Waitrose, not included in the overall GPI, also moved back into annual deflation of 0.5%.
Categories seen as most at risk from Brexit-driven price volatility remained in deflation, with fruit & veg down 1.9% year on year compared with a 1.3% fall in December and meat, fish & poultry down 1.3% (it fell 2.1% in December).
Those categories seeing the highest levels of inflation included soft drinks (+1.9%), baby goods (+1.7%) and chilled (+1.1%).
On a month-on-month basis prices did rise 1.3% back to their highest level since July 2020 after benign price conditions in the latter half of 2020 following a spurt of Covid-driven inflation in the spring.