Food prices rose 4.3% last month, the highest in nearly a year, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Despite heavy discounting in non-food sectors such as clothing and electrical goods, the rising cost of fresh foods kept overall retail price inflation at 1.1% year-on-year.

"Price competition in the retail market continues un-abated," said Kevin Hawkins, director general of the BRC, who called for a cut in interest rates on the back of the figures.

"While commodity inflation is still driving up food prices, which grocers are doing their best to not pass onto the consumer, overall shop price inflation is low and going a long way to ensure the Bank of England meets its 2% target.

With a severe slowdown in consumer spending likely after Christmas, the next interest rate move should be a cut," he said.