UK’s shop price inflation posts new high since 2011

Shop prices in the UK rose at an annual rate of 2.7 per cent in April, marking the highest rate of inflation since September 2011, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC) on Wednesday.

Non-food inflation accelerated to 2.2 per cent in April, the highest rate of inflation since this data series began in 2006, and the food inflation rose by an annual 3.5 per cent in April, the biggest rise since March 2013, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the BRC.

“The impact of rising energy prices and the conflict in Ukraine continued to feed through into April’s retail prices,” said the BRC Chief Executive, Helen Dickinson.

“Global food prices have reached record highs, seeing a 13 per cent rise on last month alone, and even higher for cooking oils and cereals. As these costs filter through the supply chain, they will place further upward pressure on the UK food prices in the coming months,” she warned.

Mike Watkins, head of Retailer and Business Insight from NielsenIQ, agreed and said the inflation shows “no signs of abating.”

The increase in non-food prices brought an extra challenge for the high street as fragile consumer confidence and rising living costs are likely to negatively affect consumer spending, Watkins noted.

The surging shop prices surveyed by the BRC echoed the rise of the UK’s official consumer prices index (CPI). The BRC studied the prices of the most commonly bought items in the stores, while the CPI covers a broader range of household goods and services.

Data showed that the UK’s CPI rose by 7 per cent in March, hitting a new 30-year high. It is expected to surge further, mainly due to a much higher energy price cap since April.

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