UK shop prices soar – data

Lazy eyes listen


Annual inflation in UK shops reached its highest level in at least 18 years in May, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) released on Tuesday.

According to the trade group, supermarket and retail chain prices increased by 9% year on year in May, up from 8.8% in April. This was the most significant increase since the BRC began measuring the indicator in 2005.

Meanwhile, food price inflation has slowed marginally, according to the BRC, falling to 15.4% from an all-time high of 15.7% last month.

“While overall shop price inflation rose slightly in May, households will welcome the beginning of a decline in food inflation.” “The slowing in [food] inflation was largely driven by lower energy and commodity costs beginning to filter through to lower prices of some staples such as butter, milk, fruit, and fish,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson in response to the data.

Dickinson remarked that “there is reason to believe that food inflation may be peaking,” but cautioned that the government must not stymie this trend “by piling more costs onto retailers and forcing up the cost of goods even further.”

“The biggest risk comes from policies such as incoming border checks and reforms to packaging recycling fees,” she said.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported earlier this month that total inflation in the UK fell below 10% in April for the first time since August, at 8.7% in annual terms. It is, however, the second-highest in Western Europe. The agency observed that the economy is still under pressure, as core inflation – an indicator that excludes volatile energy, food, alcohol, and tobacco costs – climbed at its fastest rate since 1992, by 6.8%.