LONDON (Reuters) – British shop price inflation cooled in early April for the first time in six months as retailers ramped up discounts at the start of the month, an industry survey showed on Wednesday.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and market research group Nielsen said shop prices were 0.4 percent higher than a year ago in April, compared with 0.9 percent in March.

“There were more than double the number of product lines on discount this month compared to the previous, as retailers hope to recover ground after March’s disappointing sales figures,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

Clothing and footwear saw the most widespread discounts, followed by home improvement goods and fresh food.

The official measure of annual consumer price inflation – which covers a much wider range of goods and services – stood at 1.9 percent in March, close to the two-year low of 1.8 percent struck in January.

The BRC collected price data between April 1 and April 5, two weeks before the Easter holiday weekend which typically brings a boost to consumer spending.

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