Inflation slowed in October, according to the latest government figures.

The Office for National Statistics today said its Retail Price Index measured inflation at 5.4% in October, marking a slight easing from the 5.6% rate seen the month before.

“Food and drink prices have contributed to this slowdown, with most items – except fish – becoming slightly cheaper over recent weeks,” said IGD chief economist James Walton.

“Much of this may be due to price falls on global markets, which reflect economic uncertainty and an easing of global demand.”

Meanwhile, IGD research indicated that consumers are buying their groceries from a wider variety of retailers than ever before. The average shoppers used 3.3 types of retailer – including discounters and online – in October, up from 3.1 per month this time last year.

Walton predicted the migration of shopping online would continue to accelerate, as consumers used the web to dodge rising fuel prices.

“Switching between different stores and products, taking advantage of promotions, will be a key defensive strategy for shoppers,” Walton said.

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