Shop price inflation edges up in October
UK shop price inflation rose to 1.5% in October from 1% in September figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Nielsen have shown.
The increase was largely driven by a rise in food inflation which grew to 4% in October from 3.1% in September due to a combination of poor harvests, rising production costs and previous commodity cost rises working through.
Non-food prices were broadly flat in the month after falling 0.2% in September.
Stephen Robertson, BRC director general, explained: "Overall shop price inflation is still low but pressure from food has edged it up.
"In particular, the wet summer and higher feed costs are affecting vegetables and meat and poor supplies on world markets are making the ingredients for some manufactured foods more expensive."
The BRC said pressure on food prices was likely to ease in the lead-up to Christmas as a number of these costs had started to come down over the last quarter. However, promotions remain widespread with vouchers shielding consumers from the full impact of rising costs.
Robertson said: "No change in the price of non-food goods compared with a year ago shows how relentless discounting is. Great for customers who are able to spend but, as retail administrations show, tough for retailers struggling to make the sums add up."
Mike Watkins, senior manager, retailer services at Nielsen added: "It's difficult to predict the levels of retail sales in the run up to Christmas and, with cost price increases now being reflected in some food price inflation, this will inevitably make shoppers more cautious. Even so, with retailers maintaining promotional activity, there are sure to be some excellent deals out there for the savvy shopper."
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