Food inflation in the UK slowed to 15.4% in May, according to data revealed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The figure was down from 15.7% in April but is the same as the three-month average rate of 15.4%.

During the month, inflation on non-food increased to 5.8% from 5.5% and was above the three-month average rate of 5.7%.

Inflation on fresh food eased in May to 17.2%, compared to 17.8% the previous month and is still below the three-month average rate of 17.3%.

Shop price annual inflation increased from 8.8% in April to 9.0% this month while ambient food inflation accelerated to 13.1% in May.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “While overall shop price inflation rose slightly in May, households will welcome food inflation beginning to fall. The slow-down in inflation was largely driven by lower energy and commodity costs starting to filter through to lower prices of some staples, including butter, milk, fruit and fish.

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By GlobalData

“Conversely, the price of chocolate and coffee rose off the back of the ongoing high global costs for these commodities. While non-food inflation rose, consumers are benefitting from heavy discounts on footwear as well as books and home entertainment.

 “Fierce competition between supermarkets has helped keep British food among the cheapest of the large European economies. While there is reason to believe that food inflation might be peaking, it is vital that government does not hamper this early progress by piling more costs onto retailers and forcing up the cost of goods even further.”