Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda have been making all the big noise about new year price reductions - but Morrisons has quietly been beating them all, according to exclusive data from The Grocer Price Index.

Morrisons has cut the cost of our secret 100-item shopping basket, on which the index is based, by £7.32 to £176 during the past five weeks - more than any of its big three rivals.

Chief executive Marc Bolland told The Grocer Morrisons would not be following its competitors' price-cutting.

Rather, it was more a case of Morrisons leading the way, he claimed.

"Our basket is competitive and we have started competitively this year - we don't like to be followers," Bolland said this week.

"We have shown in December that we have a competitive basket and intend to follow that up in the month of January."

The GPI also reveals that the cost of Sainsbury's ­basket fell by £3.53 in the five-week period, the second-largest amount.

The retailer hit the headlines at the beginning of the week by announcing price cuts on 1,000 lines, with particular emphasis on health and beauty products.

"This is the traditional time of year to implement price cuts and this initiative is part of Sainsbury's £400m investment in its offer," a spokeswoman for the retailer said.

"It forms part of our three-year recovery plan, which we are half way through."

The cost of our 100-item shopping basket at Asda, the cheapest retailer overall in the survey, fell by £1.13 over the same five-week period.

Asda recently announced that it had slashed the price of 2,000 items, with a ­particular emphasis on health, winter warmers and kitchen cupboard essentials.

The cost of Tesco's basket in the GPI fell by the smallest amount - just 82p.

The retailer kicked off New Year with 600 price cuts on everyday products such as 16p off tea bags and 5p off ­tomato ketchup.

Prices of a range of health and beauty products were also cut.

Grocery prices tumbled by an average of 1.3% in the five weeks to 9 January, the period surveyed, with the average cost of our 100-item basket at the top four falling from £180.52 to £178.36.

However, prices still remain 5.1% higher than they were 12 months ago.