Price inflation in pet care products is remaining persistently high despite a fall in the overall rate.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the RPI inflation rate for pet care products hit 14.5% in June, following on from double-figure levels in May (14.4%), April (15.4%) and March (14.0%).
The overall inflation slowed to 7.9% in June, down from 8.7% the previous month and now at its lowest level in more than a year, due mainly to falling fuel prices.
The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) welcomed the drop in the headline rate, but expressed concern that food prices have remained high.
Bira chief executive Andrew Goodacre said: “It is always good to see inflation falling and this month by a larger amount than expected.
“However, we remain concerned about food inflation at 17% because this reduces the discretionary spend that is the lifeblood of thousands of independent retailers. We can see that the producer price inflation has fallen significantly, and we must hope and expect the food price inflation to fall much more in the near future.
“I also hope that the larger than expected fall in inflation change the thinking at the Bank of England with regards to interest rates. Future increases may not be necessary and if they insist on raining rates, we must surely expect the size of any increase to be reduced. Higher interest rates are hurting small retailers who may still be paying back bounce back loans and at very high rates.”