Shop inflation hits two year high



Inflation in the prices we pay in shops has hit its highest level for two and a half years, fuelled by huge increases in the price of food say the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Prices in the shops were 2.9% higher in June than in June last year, higher than Mays increase of 2.3% and this biggest increase seen since October 2008.

Food prices increased by a massive 5.7% from the same period last year, even higher than Mays increase of 4.9%.

With petrol prices also high and commodities always increasing in price the BRC recognised that other factors were influencing the increase as well.

Director General of the consortium, Stephen Robinson recognised that external factors were driving up the inflation, adding, “A weak pound has certainly got a role to play here.”

“But on top of that we’ve seen… droughts, floods and then of course in Russia we’ve seen some protectionist measures saying we don’t want to sell our grain to the rest of the world.

“Put all that together and you’re seeing some really quite sharp [price] increases.”

Mark Price, chief executive of Waitrose, a supermarket known for their higher prices disagreed, adding that he didn’t “recognise the inflation data that we are reading about”.

Price added that Waitrose had seen food price inflation at only 3%, with the special offers often found in supermarkets bring prices down further. He believes, coupled with “trading down, the real food price inflation is 2.1%.”

The BRC believe that food prices could continue to increase, with the price of grain increasing all the time and wages increasing in commodity exporting countries.

The Consumer Prices Index were seeing larger increases however, with inflation at a high of 4.5% at the moment.

Research showed that consumers were doing their best to avoid price increases by buying special offers. Some 39% of grocery spending was on promotions.

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