Although the cost of groceries has fallen 1.4% since November, overall it is up 3% on last year, according to The Grocer Price Index. Our survey tracks 100 lines at the big four and reveals an average basket price of £178.06 this month, £4.96 higher than in April 2006.

This month's basket was 13p more expensive than March's but 7p cheaper than February's, suggesting the market is relatively stable. The results implied consumer confidence, said securities analyst Freddie George. "Nobody wants to rock the boat. Retailers are happy to keep prices steady and seem to be preoccupied with getting earnings."