Shop price inflation hits another record high

UK shop price annual inflation increased from eight per cent in January to 8.4 per cent last month, according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The latest BRC-NielsenIQ shop price index revealed that shop price inflation is at an all time high.

In February, non-food inflation was up from 5.1 per cent in the previous month to 5.3 per cent.

“Shop price inflation rose to another record high as retail prices across the board continued to react to the impact of soaring energy bills, higher running costs and tougher trading conditions brought about by the war in Ukraine,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC.

Dickinson said while the organisation expects to see a reduction in inflation in the second half of the year, higher retail prices will remain over the next few months.

She said that fresh food prices, particularly vegetable, were also impacted by a weaker pound which has made imports from Europe more expensive.

The research comes a day after Kantar revealed that grocery price inflation had increased again to reach 17.1 per cent in the four weeks to 19 February – the highest level ever recorded by the data analytics firm. Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said that a quarter of Brits are struggling financially compared to one in five this time last year.

Last week, supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Aldi imposed customer purchase limits on items such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers following disrupted harvests in southern Europe and north Africa, with the government warning that the UK’s ongoing vegetable shortage could continue for another four weeks.

Commenting on the state of grocery inflation, Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at consumer champion Which? said that the figures were "deeply concerning".

“These latest figures are deeply concerning, and reflect Which?’s own inflation tracker, which shows the dramatic impact the cost of living crisis is having on everyday products at the supermarket," he warned. “Some households are already skipping meals to make ends meet and our research shows trust in supermarkets taking a hit as many people worry they are putting profits before the people suffering during this cost of living crisis."

Which? calls for supermarkets to increase budget range availability so that consumers don't have to pay excessive prices for everyday essentials.

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