UK food prices hit 45-year high

UK inflation has reached its highest in 41 years, with higher food prices a key driver.

According to the latest ONS CPI inflation figures, food inflation hit 16.2 per cent – its highest level in 45 years.

The figures follow the energy price cap increase in October, which pushed up household gas and electric bills and saw inflation hit a new high.

Food prices have been increasing over the past few months, particularly for items like dairy that rely on fertiliser and animal feed, which have gone up in price.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that while customers are anticipating Black Friday deals and other promotions during the festive season, there are few signs that the cost-of-living crisis will abate any time soon.

“Tomorrow, the Chancellor will unveil the Autumn Budget, where he has the opportunity to provide support for struggling households and relieve some of the costs on retailers and their suppliers, which in turn put pressure on prices,” said Dickinson. “Retailers face an £800m per year hike in business rates from April 2023, so urgent government action is needed to mitigate this and prevent even higher inflation in the new year. The Budget is also a chance to fix the broken transitional relief scheme, that forces retailers to pay far more business rates than they owe.”

Last month grocery shopping inflation in the UK hit a record high of 14.7 per cent in October.

According to Kantar, 27 per cent of households reported that they are struggling financially, more than double the proportion recorded in 2021, with consumers facing a £682 increase in their annual grocery bill.

The grocery research organisation warned that this would not be the peak for grocery inflation as the UK’s cost-of-living crisis continues to worsen.

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