Interactive Investor

Food and non-food price inflation hits fresh highs

1st March 2023 07:01

by Myron Jobson from interactive investor

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interactive investor comments on the latest BRC Shop Price Index as onslaught of heightened costs looms in spring.

shoppers retail high street 600

Commenting, Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor, says: “BRC’s latest shop price index tells us something that shoppers are already acutely aware of - prices have risen to levels and at a pace many of us haven’t experienced before.

“The general consensus among the various shop price indices is food inflation is running at its highest rate since records began. The cost of fresh food, most recently tomatoes and other salad items, is on the up, with the heightened cost of energy and fertiliser pushing up prices.

“Headline inflation is cooling but the improvements needed for Britons to feel good about where inflation is heading are yet to be seen. Most of us are feeling the force of inflation on our finances most through our spending on groceries and energy bills. The latest surge in food prices piles even more pressure on household budgets, which are braced for another onslaught of heightened costs in April, with energy, council tax, broadband, mobile phone, water and sewage bills all set to rise. 

“Rising prices are changing the way we shop. Baskets are getting smaller and more of us are ditching premium brands for cheaper alternatives, while many are reducing spend on nice-to-have’ items.

“In the new world of spiralling costs, just getting by has become the norm for many households. It remains important to actively review your budget and make necessary changes to maintain financial resilience.”

Key points:

  • Shop Price annual inflation accelerated to 8.4% in February, up from 8.0% in January. This is above the three-month average rate of 7.8%, according to the BRC. This brings shop price growth to a fresh high.
  • Non-food inflation accelerated to 5.3% in February, up from 5.1% in January. This is above the three-month average rate of 4.9%. Inflation rose to a fresh high in this category.
  • Food inflation accelerated to 14.5% in February, up from 13.8% in January. This is above the three-month average rate of 13.8% and is the highest inflation rate in the food category on record.

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