Prices in food stores have had the largest fall in over a decade, as figures reveal the most significant drop in the UK retail sector.

According to the Office of National Statistics, prices in food retail dropped by 1.6% in January, year-on-year, and the largest price fall since 2002. The fall reflects the trend across the whole retail sector as average prices fell 3.1% compared to January 2014, the largest fall since records began in 1997.

The largest contributors to this year-on-year fall were petrol stations, where store prices fell by 15.1%.

This sector decrease is consistent with the falling UK inflation rate which is now at its lowest in decades.

UK retail sales on a whole slumped in January 2015, by falling 0.3% from December’s high. The drop in sales may be due to the increase in pre-Christmas promotions, such as Black Friday and early festive offers.

The overall January figure rose by a healthier 5.4% compared to 2014, added the ONS, although this was slower than the 5.9% predicted by economists.