Britain’s retail inflation soars to highest since 2011

Britains retail inflation has accelerated to 2.8 per cent in May, up from 2.7 per cent in April, marking the highest spike since July 2011, an industry report said.

Food inflation hit 4.3 per cent in May, up from 3.5 per cent in April, and is the highest since April 2012, Xinhua news agency quoted the report released by the British Retail Consortium as saying.

Retail prices edged up further as commodity, energy and transport costs continued to climb, noted Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the industry body.

Fresh food inflation hit its highest rate, 4.5 percent, since November 2012, with items like poultry and margarine seeing some of the largest increases due to soaring costs of animal feed and near-record global food prices, according to Dickinson.

Britain’s energy price cap jumped from 1,277 pounds ($1,591) to 1,971 pounds per year in April for about 22 million customers.

Its energy regulator warned in May that the cap is expected to rise to around 2,800 pounds per year in October.

In recent months, British consumers have seen the highest price rises in decades. As inflation rose by 9 per cent in the 12 months to April, the Bank of England expects it to rise further to average at slightly over 10 percent at its peak by the year end.

According to a survey by the British market research firm YouGov, an overwhelming 62 per cent of the respondents at the end of May thought economy had been the most important issue facing the country, with the issue of health coming a far second.

Since key drivers of inflation were the surging prices of food and energy, the poorest households were expected to take the brunt.

Britain announced in May it would impose a levy on the profits of oil and gas companies to partly fund a support package mainly targeted at vulnerable households.




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