Soaring food inflation erases effect of falling non-food prices

Ben Southwood
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ANNUAL food price inflation accelerated in the year to November, but a return to deflation in some non-food prices provided a counterweight to keep overall shop price inflation steady.

Food was 4.6 per cent more expensive in November than it was a year before, according to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), an inflation rate 0.6 percentage points higher than seen in the 12 months to October.

But with the 0.3 per cent drop in non-food prices, again comparing November to a year before, overall shop price inflation was 1.5 per cent – the same level that was seen in the year to October.

But BRC boss Stephen Robertson said fierce competition for Christmas spending would keep “turkey and trimmings on the menu”, and said the falling non-food prices were a boon to cost-conscious Christmas consumers.

This data came in tandem with other figures from the BRC, released in concert with MetaPack, which put retail deliveries at over 2m in the last week of November, some 11 per cent higher than a year before.

Robertson said this reflected the UK’s status as the “vanguard” of online retailing.