Inflation hits 30-year high at 6.2% in February
All eyes are on Westminster today as Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivers his Spring Statement – an update on the UK’s finances and a chance for the Chancellor to announce new economic policies.
Members of the retail industry have urged the Chancellor to use this opportunity to announce more support for consumers, who are grappling with the fastest price rises in a generation.
Soaring fuel and energy prices is leaving less and less money spare each month for consumers to spend on food and drink (whether that’s inside or outside the home), which has been coupled with the highest inflation rate for 30 years.
Responding to the latest CPI inflation figures which show headline inflation at 6.2%, and food inflation at 5.1%, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Rising inflation remains a significant concern for the economy, squeezing household incomes and increasing cost pressures on retailers. For the second month in a row, Transport saw the highest rate of inflation this month, while food inflation rose slower than the headline rate. The BRC’s Shop Price Index, which tracks the price of basic goods, showed an even smaller price rise in food, suggesting that retailers are successfully managing to limit cost increases for many essential groceries. Many supermarkets have expanded their value ranges to support individuals and households on lower incomes. Nonetheless, with retailers struggling to absorb these higher costs, shop prices look set to rise in the coming months.
“The situation in Ukraine is undoubtedly exacerbating existing cost pressures in the supply chain – from increased energy costs to higher global commodity prices. Many households will also face far higher energy bills and NI contributions from next Friday. As a result, all eyes will be on today’s Spring Statement, to see if the Chancellor will announce any relief for those families most affected by the cost of living squeeze.”
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