The British Retail Consortium's Shop Price Index showed its sharpest annual rise since it was established in 1997. The rise was mainly due to rises in the cost of food items, according to the BRC, particularly convenience foods and onions. The price of tobacco also rose in line with changes announced in the Budget. However BRC director general Bill Moyes pointed out the index remained below the the RPI's average over the last three months of 2.37%, and that prices were still at the same level as in June 1998. He added: "Competition and efficiency in the retail sector continue to keep high street inflation way below any rises consumers are experiencing elsewhere." {{NEWS }}