Prices holding steady in the past five weeks

Grocery prices are 2.7% higher than at this time last year, but in the past month they have started to fall. The price of our secret basket of 100 goods, compiled by retail research specialist ESA, has crept down by less than a tenth of percentage point in the

past five weeks, from £175.84 to £175.62.

The modest drop in grocery prices this month follows a sharp 0.75% increase between August and September, when energy cost increases took their toll across the board, drought added upward pressure on fresh produce prices and flour price rises filtered through to retail prices of baked goods.

Morrisons and Somerfield busy price-cutting

Asda has done more than any other supermarket to resist inflationary pressure, having held price increases to just 0.9%

over the past 12 months. Asda's price for our secret 100-item basket of goods now stands at £172.63 versus £171.06 this time last year. Sainsbury's prices have risen the most, with its basket now costing £181.12, 4.1% up over the same period.

While all supermarkets have put up their prices in the past year, Morrisons and Somerfield have been notably active in price-cutting in recent weeks. Morrisons' 100-item basket of goods now stands at £176.04, or 2.1 % less than five weeks ago. The price of Somerfield's basket has dropped 0.8% over the same period, from £200.60 to £199.00. In contrast, Sainsbury's and Tesco's prices have risen 1.4% and 1.5% respectively in the past five weeks, while price leader Asda has put prices up by 0.7%.