Fruit and veg shortages push UK food inflation to new high


Shortages of fruit and greens helped push UK food inflation to a report high in March, in accordance to the newest trade information, suggesting there was little signal of any let up on households combating the price of dwelling disaster.

Annual food inflation reached 15 per cent, up from 14.5 per cent in February and the best since data started in 2005, the British Retail Consortium mentioned on Tuesday. The largest value rises affected contemporary meals, with inflation up 0.7 factors to 17 per cent.

Helen Dickinson, chief govt of the BRC, mentioned “poor harvests in Europe and north Africa worsened availability” of fruit and greens and the weak spot of sterling additional pushed up the price of imports.

Prices of fruit and greens grown out of seasons in greenhouses within the UK and different northern European nations had been additionally affected by high power prices.

Dickinson added that the rising value of sugar had additionally fed by way of into increased costs for chocolate and different sweets because the Easter holidays approached. Food inflation hits the poorest households the toughest as grocery buying accounts for a bigger proportion of their spending.

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and enterprise Insight at NielsenIQ, which helps compile the information, mentioned the inflationary pressures had compelled prospects to change their habits. Retailers had seen “more visits but less basket spend, as shoppers manage their weekly food bills by shopping little and more often and seeking out the lowest prices.”

The BRC information means that value development of food and non-alcoholic drinks has continued to speed up this month. In February, official food inflation hit a 45-year high of 18.2 per cent, in accordance to the Office for National Statistics information launched final week.

Overall, the official information confirmed inflation rose unexpectedly month-on-month in February to 10.4 per cent from 10.1 per cent. The Bank of England, which has a 2 per cent inflation goal, subsequently raised charges by one other quarter level to 4.25 per cent in an effort to curb pricing pressures.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets, at Hargreaves Lansdown, a monetary companies firm, mentioned the price of dwelling disaster was “showing little sign of dying down.”

The quick development of food costs pushed BRC store value inflation to a new report high of 8.9 per cent in March, up from 8.4 per cent the earlier month. Non-food store inflation rose a extra modest 5.9 per cent, contained by reductions on dwelling leisure tools and different electrical home equipment.

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