Cost of Living Crisis Deepens as Store Prices Rise at Fastest Rate in Over a Decade | Economic news

Store prices rose at their fastest pace in more than a decade last month, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said.

Retail prices fell from 2.1% in March to 2.7% in April, according to the BRC-NielsenIQ price index.

This is the highest annual inflation rate recorded since September 2011.

The figures will increase pressure on Boris Johnson to do more to tackle the cost of living crisis, just a day before local elections.

Read more: Will the cost of living crisis or Partygate decide at the polls?

Helen Dickinson, BRC’s chief executive, said: “The impact of rising energy prices and the conflict in Ukraine continued to ripple through April retail prices.

Food prices rose 3.5% on the year to April, from 3.3% in March.

But the rise slowed slightly for fresh produce, from 3.5% in March to 3.4% in April, which Ms Dickinson attributed to “fierce competition between supermarkets”.

“Global food prices have reached record highs, rising 13% in the last month alone, and even more so for cooking oils and grains,” she said.

“As these costs filter through the supply chain, they will put further upward pressure on UK food prices in the months ahead.

“Retailers will continue to do all they can to keep prices low and deliver value to their customers by limiting price increases and expanding their value ranges, but this will push them to find cost savings elsewhere. .

“Unfortunately, customers should be prepared for further price increases and a bumpy road ahead.”

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Mike Watkins, head of retail and business insights at research firm NielsenIQ, said consumers are likely to curtail their spending habits in response to rising inflation and rising costs of living, like energy bills.

The Bank of England has warned that inflation – which hit 7% in March – could exceed more than 8% this year.

“With food retail no longer immune to these pressures, supermarkets are responding by cutting prices on some everyday groceries,” he said.

Prices for non-food items rose 2.2% in the year to April – the highest rate since records began in 2006.

That compares with a 1.5% increase on the year to March.

Ms Dickinson said furniture, electrical and books are seeing the biggest increases.

“This has been exacerbated by disruptions at the world’s largest seaport, following Shanghai’s recent lockdown,” she says.

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