UK shop prices highest in 10 years

Shop price annual inflation increased from 0.8 per cent in December 2021 to 1.5 per cent in January this year, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The figures mark the highest rate of inflation since December 2012.

Non-Food inflation jumped to 0.9 per cent in January following a fall of 0.2 per cent in December.

Food inflation also accelerated from 2.4 per cent in the final month of 2021 to 2.7 per cent last month - the highest inflation rate since October 2013.

Fresh Food inflation slowed slightly in January to 2.9 per cent, down from 3 per cent in December. This is above the 12- and 6-month average price growth rates of 0.1 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively.

Ambient Food inflation hiked to 2.4 per cent in January, up from 1.7 per cent in December - the highest rate of increase since November 2020.

“January saw shop price inflation nearly double, driven by a sharp rise in non-food inflation,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC. “In particular, furniture and flooring saw exceptionally high demand leading to increased prices as the rising oil costs made shipping more expensive.

“Food prices continue to rise, especially domestic produce which have been impacted by poor harvests, labour shortages, and rising global food prices.”

The chief exec added that the rise in shop prices plays into UK inflation, which she said is “pushing cost of living to the forefront of the political agenda”.

“Retailers are working hard to cut costs, but it would be impossible to protect consumers from any future rises,” explained Dickinson. “As commodity prices, energy prices and transportation costs continue to rise, it is inevitable that retail prices will continue to follow in the future.”

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