Fierce competition is forcing down prices in the food sector, but is helping to boost sales according to research by the British Retail Consortium and the CBI. The BRC Shop Price Index for September showed prices on a range of goods were just 0.11% higher than a year ago. Food prices fell for the third consecutive month. BRC director general Bill Moyes said: "Shop price inflation is still below the general rate of price rises and shows how competitive shops are." The CBI reported that UK retail sales volumes grew at their fastest rate for five years. The CBI's latest quarterly Diistributive Trades Survey reported that 62% of retailers said sales were up in September, while only 8% saw a drop. The balance of 54% compares with 49% in August and 44% in July. Grocers reported the sharpest increase in sales volumes compared with a year earlier. Increases were also noted in specialist food and durable household goods, while chemists and off-licences experienced more modest growth. A CBI spokesman said September 11 may have dented UK consumers confidence, but so far it had not affected their spending. {{NEWS }}